September 30, 2015 | The Jerusalem Post
Analysis: German, Austrian Jews Worried About Anti-Semitism From Refugees
The growing influx into central Europe of refugees from Muslim-majority countries with a deeply rooted culture of lethal anti-Semitism has started to jolt Jewish leaders and journalists into an examination of dangers inherent in the mass migration.
Oskar Deutsch, head of Austria’s Jewish community, issued a warning in a column last week in the daily Kurier, “The hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria or Afghanistan who are coming to Europe were exposed while growing up to decades of anti-Semitism. Jew-hatred was learned and promoted in schools, newspapers and social networks. Terrorism against Israeli was celebrated – such as Islamic attacks on Jewish schools, synagogues and Jewish museums in the West.”
Deutsch further warned of Islamic State fighters disguised as refugees. His concern is grounded in European reality; Islamic State and Jihadi-affiliated combatants have attacked and murdered several European Jews since 2014. For example, the French-Algerian Mehdi Nemmouche, who murdered three people at the Brussels Jewish museum, was a trained Islamic State terrorist.
“Latent anti-Semitism among many of the approximately 20 million Muslims can erupt, as we have unfortunately experienced too often in the past years,” said Deutsch.
In a column last week entitled: “How much anti-Semitism are we actually importing?” Christian Ortner, a popular Vienna columnist, praised Deutsch for his intellectual honesty, and warned that refugees are streaming into the heart of Europe with “a highly likely hefty dose of anti-Semitism, hatred of gays and misogyny.”
“We have pasted over the ‘Je suis Charlie’-posters against the anti-Semitic terrorism in the Jewish Parisian supermarket with ‘Welcome refugee’ signs,” he added.
Israel is acutely aware of the anti-Semitic and anti-Western orientation of many of the refugees. One senior diplomat told The Jerusalem Post that the medical care provided to Syrians in northern Israel might help to decontaminate the “poisonous” anti-Israel climate conditioned by the regimes of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and his father.
In the Rosh Hashana issue of the German Jewish newspaper Jüdische Allgemeine, Juri Goldstein, the deputy chairman of the state of Thuringia’s Jewish community, said, “Many [community members] look with fear at developments in France and themselves remember attacks on Jewish institutions in Europe. But all of them hope, of course, that it will not come to Germany.”
Contrary to the wishes of Goldstein’s community, German Muslim migrants have launched ferocious attacks on German soil. For example, three Palestinian Germans attempted to torch the Wuppertal synagogue in 2014. A court panel gave the three men only suspended sentences, dismissing the attack as a political protest that sought to draw “attention to the Gaza conflict” with Israel.
Germany will likely absorb a number of Palestinians as part of its relaxed immigration policies.
In a Washington Post article, Hisham Fares, an interpreter of Libyan origin, said of the refugees in Vienna: “I’ve met Palestinians who live in camps in Lebanon and now claim they were from Yarmouk camp in Syria. Many of them said they have family in Germany and just use this situation to finally get asylum.
Most of these people say they’ve lost their passports.
The sad thing is that those Syrians who really are fleeing war will be the ones paying the price.”
New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra, who passed away last week, famously remarked— ‘It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.’ Sadly, one prediction is not tough to make: things are likely to get progressively worse for European Jews in the coming years.
Benjamin Weinthal is a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Follow him on Twitter @BenWeinthal