Photo: Reuters
German neo-Nazis
Photo: Reuters
German anti-Semitism commission rapped for omitting Jews
American, European Jewish organizations criticize Merkel administration's decision to not include any Jewish experts on new panel.
Leading Jewish groups on Tuesday criticized the German government for creating a new commission on anti-Semitism without including a single Jew.



Julius Schoeps from the Moses Mendelssohn Center for European-Jewish Studies called it "a unique scandal" that the Interior Ministry didn't include any Jewish scientists or community leaders on the commission it created to fight anti-Semitism and support Jewish life in Germany.


"German lawmakers and the Interior Minister must ask themselves why... clearly no value is placed on experts from Jewish organizations and communities," he added in a statement.


Schoeps announced that his center, in cooperation with the American Jewish Committee and the Amadeu Antonio Foundation against anti-Semitism and racism, would create an alternative commission that would stress the Jewish perspective and include both Jewish and non-Jewish experts.


European Jew at rally against anti-Semitism in Frankfurt (Photo: Reuters) (Photo: Reuters)
European Jew at rally against anti-Semitism in Frankfurt (Photo: Reuters)


Anetta Kahane from the Amadeu Antonio Foundation also criticized the government for neglecting to call Jewish experts on the eight-person committee, pointing out that "nobody would even think of creating a conference on hatred of Islam without Muslims or a round table on the discrimination of women without women."


Holocaust monument in Berlin (Photo: AP)
Holocaust monument in Berlin (Photo: AP)


Germany's Interior Ministry said it had no immediate comment on the criticism.


"At a time when Jewish institutions need more protection after numerous terror attacks and anti-Semitic views are rife in schools and in society, we need more instruments and... an ongoing debate on the topic," said Deidre Berger, director of the AJC Berlin Ramer Institute for German-Jewish Relations.


Members of the commission, which first convened on January 19, include Werner Bergmann, sociology professor at Berlin Technical University's Centre for Research on Anti-Semitism, and Patrick Siegele, director of the Anne Frank Centre in Berlin.


It's the second time the government has installed a commission to deal with anti-Semitism; an earlier commission came up with suggestions and ideas on how to fight anti-Semitism in 2011. It said at the time that "fighting anti-Semitism in all its various forms is a political priority of the government."


The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.


פרסום ראשון: 02.10.15, 18:18
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