Newly published figures from the Research and Information Center on Antisemitism (RIAS) in Berlin have revealed that in Germany’s capital city, which percentage-wise hosts one of the largest Muslim populations of any major European capital, more than two antisemitic attacks per day were recorded in 2022.
In its report titled “Antisemitic Incidents in Berlin in 2022,” published on Wednesday, May 10th, RIAS Berlin, which kept track of all antisemitic incidents across all districts, social classes, and political orientations, recorded 848 anti-Jewish incidents of physical and verbal nature, a total which amounts to 2.3 incidents per day, the daily Berliner Zeitung reports.
One incident of extreme violence, 21 assaults, 31 targeted property damage, 24 threats, and 751 incidents of abusive behavior involving, among other things, 36 gatherings and 20 mass mailings were among the 848 antisemitic incidents that were recorded last year, the organization states in its report.
Also according to the report, nearly half of all incidents (47%) had antisemitic references to the Shoah or its trivialization or perpetrator-victim reversals, while 32% of the known incidents “contained content of Israel-related antisemitism.” Interestingly, in Berlin-Mitte—the district within Germany’s capital that has the largest share of ethnic minorities, most of whom are Turkish (27%)—was the most affected, with incidents numbering 111.
Addressing the data contained within the report, Benjamin Steinitz, who serves as a project manager at RIAS, stated: “Antisemitism has been taking up a lot of space in Berlin for years … Jews in Berlin are targeted and attacked every week, online or on the street.” He assumes that “the total number of antisemitic incidents in Berlin is significantly higher than our report shows.”
It is worth highlighting that while the Left’s mainstream press in Germany often seeks to link the country’s growing problem of antisemitism exclusively to Right groups, a 2017 survey carried out by the University of Bielefeld among German Jews revealed that 62% of antisemitic insults and 81% of antisemitic violence are committed by Muslims, who account for approximately 10% of the German population.
On this point, Artur Abramovych, the chairman of the association Jews in the AfD, told The European Conservative:
Everyone is speaking about growing antisemitism in Germany, but most politicians suggest it is due to imaginary Nazis. Except for the Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) there are only some MoPs from the liberal Free Democrat Party (FDP) who don‘t deny that the growth of antisemitism derives from Muslims. All other parties deny it because they need Muslim votes.
When asked what can be done to combat the growing problem of antisemitism in Germany, Abramovych proposed three solutions: a) stopping all illegal Muslim immigration to Europe; b) deporting every Muslim non-citizen who has become delinquent; and c) eliminating the anti-Israel bias of the mainstream press.
“For religious Jews who wear a kippah on the street, living in big cities throughout Germany has become increasingly exhausting,” Abramovych said, adding that most of his Orthodox friends now “wear ball caps on top of their kippah so as not to be recognized” while they are in public.
AfD MP Jürgen Braun, who speaks on human rights issues for the party, echoed Abramovych’s in an address delivered on the floor of the Bundestag on Friday, May 12th, saying: “Every single survey conducted among German Jews proves that antisemitism today primarily comes from Muslims.”
“And anyone who refuses to accept this simple truth should not pretend to be a friend of the Jews,” Braun added.
Rampantly pervasive antisemitism, unfortunately, is in no way unique to Germany.
In fact, it’s a growing problem throughout much of Western Europe, especially in France, which hosts the largest Muslim community (8.8% from 2016) in all of Europe. In 2022, antisemitic attacks in France numbered 463, according to a report by the Jewish Community Protection Service (SPCJ) and the French Ministry of the Interior.
Juxtaposing antisemitic offenses in Western European states, like Germany (with large Muslim populations) with Central European states, like Hungary (without large Muslim populations) gives the lie to the Left’s claim that right-extremists are to blame.
For example, a survey conducted by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) which examined the prevalence of antisemitism across 12 EU Member States, revealed that in 2018, 17% of Jewish respondents living in Hungary reported experiencing antisemitic offensive or threatening comments in person, compared to 29% of Jewish respondents living in Germany.
More statistics support the sense that right-leaning countries provide safer environments for the Jewish community: 8% of Jewish respondents living in Hungary, for instance, reported experiencing the most serious incidents of antisemitic harassment in the past 5 years (the lowest among the 12 EU member states), whereas 28% and 20% of Jewish respondents living in Austria and Germany, respectively, reported the same.