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All Too Slowly, Germany Is Waking Up to Contemporary Anti-Semitism

Jan. 19 2018

The German parliament is currently considering a bill that will punish anti-Semitic activity and that acknowledges the specific problem of anti-Semitism among migrants from Muslim countries—even allowing authorities to revoke their residency rights. Toward the end of 2017, the Bundestag also gave legal status to a definition of anti-Semitism that includes “placing collective responsibility on the Jewish people for Israel’s actions.” But, writes Eldad Beck, Germany still has a long way to go:

The German legal establishment’s problematic approach toward the issue of anti-Semitism was demonstrated this week in the city of Wuppertal, when the high court upheld a lower court’s ruling defining the firebombing of a synagogue as a criminal rather than as an anti-Semitic act. The firebombing in question was perpetrated by a group of three young Palestinians living in Germany in the summer of 2014, as Operation Protective Edge was raging in Gaza. Anti-Semitic riots were raging across Germany, drawing mainly Arab and Muslim crowds. The law-enforcement authorities failed to respond in any way.

When the perpetrators who hurled Molotov cocktails at a synagogue in Wuppertal were apprehended, they claimed it was an act of “protest against Israeli policy” and not, heaven forbid, an act of anti-Semitism, which would result in harsher punishment. The German judges sided with the perpetrators’ arguments time and time again, despite vocal protests from the German Jewish community. . . .

There is no doubt, [however], that Germany has become more cognizant in recent years, albeit in a limited fashion, of the fact that anti-Semitism is still alive and well in the country. Similarly, there is more acceptance of the fact that hatred of Israel is tantamount to hatred of Jews. . . . It is important and right to confront the anti-Semitism that exists in the Muslim Arab immigrant community, but it is a mistake to ignore the fact that anti-Semitism is still quite prevalent among large portions of mainstream German society—portions whose residency cannot be revoked.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Anti-Semitism, Germany, Immigration, Politics & Current Affairs

The Trump Administration Has Said the Right Things about Syria, but Words Are Not Enough

Jan. 30 2018

While praising the White House for recognizing that Iran poses a major threat to American interests in Syria, Jennifer Cafarella argues that Washington still needs a strategy for countering the Islamic Republic and its allies:

The Trump White House identifies Iran as a primary threat. It has verbally committed to the departure from power of Bashar al-Assad. It claims to prioritize repairing relations with Turkey, seeks to destroy al-Qaeda, and wants to refocus the U.S. on Syria’s humanitarian catastrophe. These are the correct goals toward which American policy should strive. . . . The problem is that the strategy Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has outlined [in a January 17 speech] will not accomplish these goals. . . .

American policy in Syria, regardless of any tough administration statements, is to accept Assad and his regime de-facto. . . . The “de-escalation” agreement that President Trump signed in November 2017 with Russia is a surrender not only to Russia, but also to Iran. It heavily favors Assad. In that deal, Russia promised to compel Iran to withdraw its forces from southern Syria. It never happened. Pro-regime forces violate the de-escalation zone with impunity. . . .

Tillerson uses vague terms like “deny their dreams” to describe our strategy against Iran in Syria. He identifies no clear goal against which the U.S. can measure success. He states that the U.S. must deliver an “enduring defeat” to al-Qaeda—and we certainly must. Yet the U.S. Defense Department has offered no vision of how to do that. The strategy Tillerson outlines—and that the U.S. is pursuing—amounts to outsourcing the problem to Turkey, which is actually working with al-Qaeda in Syria. . . .

Two administrations have sought to substitute rhetoric for action and to outsource American interests to local partners. The U.S. must abandon this approach and recognize Syria’s importance to American security.

Read more at Fox News

More about: Al Qaeda, Donald Trump, Iran, Politics & Current Affairs, Rex Tillerson, Syrian civil war, U.S. Foreign policy