Germany: The one
striking exception worldwide
ARYEH COHEN - Tel-Aviv
A study, prepared jointly by Tel Aviv
University's Project for the Study of Antisemitism, the Anti-Defamation
League and the World Jewish Congress, shows that Jews around
the world may be facing fewer physical attacks. The drop in violent
incidents also means that Jews must learn to "live without the physical
threat of antisemitism," Avi Beker, executive manager of the WJC's
office in Israel, said. The current situation, he explained, "is good
for the Jews, but bad for Judaism... Today the challenge is really how
to maintain Judaism in a positive sense, and not really to assimilate
and disappear without this physical threat of antisemitism."
In Germany antisemitic activities went up by
15-20%. In eastern German cities like Dresden, "nationally liberated
zones" shut to foreigners, leftists and homosexuals, have been created.
Beker said German officials were doing less than
they were a year ago to limit such activity. The disappointment of those
in the east with the pace of their integration into the rest of Germany,
has also contributed to the growing hatred. The strength of right-wing
groups throughout Europe, particularly in France and Austria, indicate
there is still a potential for another wave of antisemitism in western
Antisemitic incidents in the US - as was the case in
the rest of the Anglo-Saxon world - declined for the third year in a
row, to 1,571 incidents, down 8.8%. Some of the recorded events were the
placing of an incendiary device under a window at a Philadelphia day
school and the setting on fire of two Los Angeles synagogues.
Nazis haben die
Bedeutung längst schon begriffen
Internet: Ein effektives und junges Medium
The major threats lie in material
available on the Internet, where the number of sites offering
antisemitic material doubled last year.
Rabbi David Rosen, Director of the Anti-Defamation
League's Israel Office, explained that the Internet was being
increasingly used "as a vehicle for spewing almost unlimited hatred and
especially Holocaust-denial. This has become a major concern in
terms of hate dissemination and crimes perpetrated as a result of that
dissemination." The Ku Klux Klan expanded its use of the
Internet to gain new members this year, along with veteran Holocaust
denier Bradley Smith. Rosen also noted how it requires only a small
number of people to spread such information on the Internet, including
such chilling data as outlines for making explosives. Rosen said
attempts were being made to find allies in the computer industry to
respond to such material.
There has been a growth of antisemitic
manifestations on US college campuses, Rosen said, particularly on black
university campuses. However, this does not represent the overall black
university population, just as Louis Farrakhan represents only 20
percent of the Black Muslim population in the US, Rosen said.
Antisemitic materials like The Protocols of the Elders of Zion continued
to be available at gatherings where Farrakhan appeared.
Rosen, who has extensive contacts with the
Vatican, said the recent Vatican document on the Holocaust may have
fallen short of some Jews' expectations, but "it is the first document
that formally deals with the whole question of the Holocaust... and what
was not done," making it very significant for combatting
While the study found that antisemitic
expressions continued to be widespread in the Arab press last year, they
were down somewhat, in an apparent reaction to American and other
pressures. While a Jordanian shop-owner may have displayed a sign
saying; 'No dogs, no Jews,' Esty Wegman of the center noted there was "a
new, emerging trend" led by Arab intellectuals such as Prof. Eduard Said
to acknowledge Jewish suffering in the Holocaust, so as to gain greater
sympathy for their own plight and promote coexistence.