The state must protect synagogues
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Eight decades after the Holocaust, Jews in Germany are still not safe, said Hans Riebsamen in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. A far-right militant brandishing homemade guns last week tried to force his way into a packed synagogue in the eastern German city of Halle during services for Yom Kippur, Judaism’s holiest day. He failed to breach the doors, so couldn’t open fire on the worshippers—who included 10 Americans. Instead, he shot dead a woman passing by and a man inside a nearby kebab shop. The government had turned down the synagogue’s request for a police guard for Yom Kippur, and a massacre was averted only by luck. Now we should all recognize that “the danger is real,” and that all Jewish centers need guards. Anti-Semitism is resurgent. It is not a problem only in Halle, or only in the former East Germany. Haters of Jews range from the “young neo-Nazis on the Right to the anti-Zionists and the Israel boycotters on the Left to the Muslim immigrants who learned anti-Semitism at school.” People from all walks of German life have been infected by “the virus of anti-Semitism,” and clearly some of them are willing to kill. The answer is not for Jews to flee or “bunker down”—it is for the German state to protect them.