According to a report recently released by Germany’s Ministry of the Interior, 92 percent of the anti-Semitic incidents in the country since January were the work of right-wing extremists. German authorities came to this conclusion because, by government fiat, any anti-Semitic crime is categorized as a “politically motivated right-wing extremist crime.” Evelyn Gordon explains why this approach is not only misleading but dangerous:
There are two good reasons for thinking the linguistic acrobatics, in this case, represent the rule rather than the exception. First, a 2014 study of 14,000 pieces of hate mail sent over a ten-year period to the Central Council of Jews in Germany and the Israeli embassy in Berlin found that only 3 percent came from far-right extremists. Over 60 percent came from the educated mainstream—professors, PhDs, lawyers, priests, [and] university and high-school students. And these letters were definitely anti-Semitic rather than merely anti-Israel; they included comments such as “It is possible that the murder of innocent children suits your long tradition?” . . .
[U]nless you want to make the dubious claim that Germany’s educated mainstream—unlike that of other Western countries—consists largely of far-right extremists, it’s clear that far-right extremists aren’t the only people actively committing anti-Semitic acts.
Second, in other Western European countries, Islamic extremists are a major source of anti-Semitic crime. Thus it’s hard to believe that Germany—which, as several terror attacks over the last two years have shown, is hardly devoid of such extremists—would be the one exception to this rule. . . .
Far-right anti-Semitism is, of course, real. But so are left-wing and Islamic anti-Semitism. And by pretending the latter two don’t exist, the German government has made it impossible to combat those types of anti-Semitism effectively, since you can’t fight something whose very existence you refuse to acknowledge.