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With anti-Semitism on the rise, Germany plans an online platform to report it

With anti-Semitism on the rise, Germany plans an online platform to report it
[Photo: Sergey Zolkin/Unsplash]

Germany is attempting a new method to combat an alarming rise in anti-Semitism. The country will launch an online tool for victims to report anti-Semitic incidents, the Algemeiner reports.

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On Thursday, Felix Klein, Germany’s commissioner for Jewish affairs, revealed plans for a new platform that will record all instances of discrimination from both victims and bystanders alike. The new site by the Research and Information Center for Anti-Semitism (RIAS) will also include actions that are not necessarily prosecutable crimes–like racial slurs and “everyday” discrimination. It’s slated to go live in February.

“We cannot leave fighting anti-Semitism in this country to the Jews,” said Klein. “Every anti-Semite in this country has a problem with our democracy and with our civil-law state . . . that affects all of us in this country.”

The reporting center and site will receive €243,000 ($278,320) in funding led by Germany’s Ministry for Family Affairs. It plans to expand to all of Germany’s states for a nationwide effort.

German authorities counted 1,075 anti-Semitic crimes in the first nine months of 2018, according to government statistics cited by Deutsche Welle. However, police reports generally do not include non-criminal anti-Semitic attacks. RIAS head Benjamin Steinitz said his federal agency currently records two to three cases per day, but that there is a “considerably higher number of unreported cases” that could help shed light on the issue.

Together, the police and the new platform hope to paint a fuller picture of the country’s issues.

Germany’s resurgence of anti-Semitism has become increasingly problematic, with the country battling numerous violent attacks against Jews. In April, Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was shocked by the violence, which included a Berlin resident flogging a 20-year-old kippah-wearing Israeli in broad daylight.

“It depresses me that we have not been able to get a handle on anti-Semitism once and for all,” she told Israel’s Channel Ten. She later said Germany would do “everything” it could to ensure the security of the Jewish community.

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