The Simon Wiesenthal Center expressed alarm today over the failure of German authorities to deal effectively with increased anti-Semitism, including violent hate crimes.

“When the respected head of German Jewry feels it necessary to urge Jews to hide their identities in public, it is clear that German authorities have failed to protect the rights of their Jewish citizens and are failing to counter growing anti-Semitism,” charged Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action.

“I first raised the question, over three years ago with then Justice Minister (and current Foreign Minister) Heiko Maas, as to how Germany would deal with the anti-Semitic biases that many arrivals from Arab and Muslim societies brought with them. Clearly, not enough has been done to address this issue since the subsequent arrival of hundreds of thousands of refugees and immigrants from these countries, and there is a new phenomenon of Jewish students being bullied by children of immigrants in Germany’s public schools,” Cooper added.

“However, it would be a mistake to attribute this spike of anti-Semitism entirely to extremists within the Arab and Muslim population. For years, Israel has been demonized and vilified in the media and by some politicians, and neo-Nazi activities contribute to the growing unease among Jews that anti-Semitism is a growing threat to their future. Clearly, whatever has been done until now by German authorities is not enough,” Cooper concluded.

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