The rise of antisemitism and Jewish extremism in Europe

Christopher Dickey: “Can you criticize Israel’s military actions and a lot of its policies without being antisemitic? Yes. Can you do it without having some people accuse you of antisemitism? No, you can’t.”

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2 thoughts on “The rise of antisemitism and Jewish extremism in Europe

  1. Paul Woodward

    German government officials are clear in stating that German’s have a constitutionally protected right to express criticism of Israeli policies, but Israel’s right to exist cannot be questioned.

    Rainer Wendt, head of the German Police Union, says:

    The boundaries are very difficult to establish. As police, we are pulled between allowed criticism of the Israeli state and what we refer to as anti-Semitic hate slurs. It’s absolutely legitimate to criticize Israeli government policies, for example in current events taken place at the Gaza Strip. But to propagate hatred of Jews, as left-wing, right-wing and especially Islamist extremists do, oversteps the boundaries.

    Where have boundaries to what is allowed been explicitly overstepped?

    For example the burning of state symbols is forbidden, as is the chanting of hate slurs like “death to Israel” or “death to Jews.” That constitutes punishable hate crime.

    Germany’s Federal Government, July 23, 2014:

    Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière also stressed that while the freedom of opinion enshrined in the German Basic Law or constitution does give people the right to criticise the policy of the State of Israel, the demonstrations of the last few days against Israel’s military action in Gaza have crossed a red line.

    “Under no circumstances may the right of the State of Israel to exist be called into question. Equally there can be no place in German public opinion for open or concealed hatred towards Jews,” said the Federal Interior Minister. Public prosecutors, the police and authorities responsible for approving rallies and public gatherings are called on to intervene openly and, where appropriate, to start criminal investigations, said Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière.

    More on recent debate on antisemitism and criticism of Israel inside Germany can be found here.

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