Today, on Yom Kippur, a German anti-Semite, Holocaust denier, and neo-Nazi, Stephan Balliet, sought to kill Jews praying on the holiest day of the Jewish year. His self-declared goal was to “kill as many anti-whites as possible, Jews preferred,”
Despite there being no German police providing security for the Halle synagogue, the terrorist could not enter the building, which was locked. He then proceeded to murder a woman who passed by outside the shul. In total, he spent five minutes fruitlessly seeking entry to the synagogue without any police presence or engagement. Congregants inside watched the attack unfold on closed circuit monitors. They were confident enough of their safety to continue with the prayer service.
The gunman, in frustration, he turned away from his intended target to a kebab shop nearby and killed someone inside, who he presumably believed was an Arab immigrant.
An irony that should be lost on no one is that Balliet targeted both Jews and Muslim immigrants in this attack. As the Guardian notes:
Balliet “hoped his attack would inspire other white people to kill more Jewish people,” as well as others he considered “enemies of the white race, including Muslim people, black people, anti-fascists, and communists.”
In other words, we are all in this together. It is a fight against neo-Nazi hate (including Islamist terror) which targets us all.
The killer engaged in mayhem while filming and uploading the attack footage to Twitch, an Amazon video site. Despite the fact that his video was removed, 15,000 accounts retweeted it on Twitter.
There is a lesson here and its not the one some of you are thinking. Germany has been extorted by pro-Israel forces into demonizing BDS. A resolution passed in the federal legislature declared the non-violent movement akin to anti-Semitism. Palestinian artists have been denied awards for their alleged crimes. Activists, including Israelis, have been arrested for protesting the suppression of legitimate political speech. You would think a country which permitted a fascist regime to rule over it for 12 years and which murdered 6-million Jews, would understand the critical value of free political discourse; and the difference between criticism of Israel and real anti-Semitism. The anti-BDS campaign falsifies the concept of anti-Semitism, in service to the Israeli state. It is a contrived, bogus political project.
Amos Yadlin, former head of IDF intelligence, published a critique (in the Jerusalem Post, no less!) of a recent Strategic Affairs ministry report linking BDS to anti-Semitism. Yadlin, certainly a creature of the Israeli military-intelligence apparatus and no liberal, was surprisingly dismissive of many elements of the study. While Yadlin did offer some typical pro-Israel bromides, he was surprisingly candid and critical in addressing the report’s deficiencies:
…Many (probably most) of the campaign’s supporters…display solidarity with the Palestinian cause and with the campaign’s call for “freedom, justice and equality”. Indeed,…BDS supporters…believe that endorsing the campaign is the best way to voice criticism relating to Israel’s government policies
Many BDS supporters on college campuses…form their opinion and understanding of the conflict precisely through…digital means or through the linkage of the Palestinian cause to other issues they identify with (gender and LGBTQ struggles, or discrimination against African Americans for example). Paint-brushing these students as antisemitic because of their support for BDS is…wrong [and] counter-productive…
…We acknowledge the findings of academic research asserting that nowadays, most manifestations of antisemitism around the world are sourced in right-wing, white supremacist ideologies rather than in left-wing, liberal ideologies promoted by BDS.
Here is a typical example of falsely yoking the fight against neo-Nazi hate to allegiance to the Israeli state in the context of the Halle attack:
If you stand in solidarity with Jews when Nazis murder us in Europe and America.
But stand in solidarity with our killers when Jews are murdered by terrorists in Israel.
Then you are no friend of the Jewish people and we reject your self-serving solidarity.
— Israel Advocacy Movement (@israel_advocacy) October 9, 2019
In both Germany and the U.S., law enforcement and political leaders turn a blind eye to a far more devastating form of anti-Semitism: the rise of the neo-Nazi AfD Party and its more deranged supporters prepared to take guns into their own hands to rid the Reich of Jewish blood; in homage to their ideological forefather, Adolf Hitler.
One of the Halle synagogue victims said the Jewish community had repeatedly requested police security. Their requests were refused. You would think that on the High Holidays police would understand that Jews would be a target. The survivor noted that it took police 10 minutes to arrive on the scene after he called them.
Bibi Netanyahu issued a typical milquetoast statement about the terror attack on German Jews. Certainly, nothing like the full geschrei he made after Islamist terror attacks on French Jews. When they happened, he hurried to France and told French Jews in their Grand Synagogue they had no future there and must make aliya if they wished to find a safe haven. The ploy was met with anger by the French government and communal leaders. And after a few months, aliya from France went back to previous levels.
So why when a neo-Nazi kills Jews do we hear barely a peep out of Bibi? But when Muslims kill Jews he declares a full anti-Semitism alert and becomes the Lord Protector of world Jewry? I’d wager that it has something to do with the fact that Europe’s far-right Islamophobic parties (the ones with some affinity for these sorts of attacks) are natural allies of Likud, while the European left tends to be most critical of Israel and most eager to protect Jewish communities in their midst from all attacks, whether far-right or Islamist.
If there is a national solidarity rally in Germany, I strongly urge German Jews and Chancellor Merkel to keep Netanyahu away. He has no interest in the victims or German Jewry in general. They are props for his own political grandstanding.
Some may argue that Islamist terror is no less a threat than far-right violence. Perhaps in France or Belgium this is so. While there have been no German terror attacks against Jews by Islamists, there have been scores of terror attacks by European right-wing extremists in the past few decades, a few targeting Jews. Of course, in the U.S. there have been even more attacks by white supremacists against Jews including, most recently, the Poway Chabad and Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life. That is due in no small part due to the incitement by Donald Trump, who is viewed by these terrorists as a tacit, if not outright supporter.
The toxic stew from which this neo-Nazi miasma emerges is fueled by far-right parties like AfD and racist politicians like Trump. Yet no one holds them to account as inciters of mass murder. Not even the ADL, which is supposed to be the premier defender against anti-Semitism. It often waffles when it comes to casting blame on powerful figures and parties like these.
DONATION: I urge you to support the research, writing and activism involved in maintaining this site and my freelance journalism. Please use Paypal or Network for Good links in the sidebar to make a donation.
Jaap Hamburger says
Dear Richard, BDS was not outlawed in Germany. That probably was never the intention. Making BDS morally highly suspect is much more effectieve. Then no proof of antisemitism in court is needed, as would be the case when it is outlawed.
There was a non-binding resolution in German parliament to declare it ‘inherently antisemitic’ and to condenm it.
Then, instigated by Israel and ‘Israel-friendly’ lobbyforces a familiair pattern was followed, a pattern we know too well from the US. Not on a federal level but on the level of states (‘Länder’) and towns ‘implementation was sought of this non-binding resolution. Berlin, Bonn, Aken, Dortmund saw various incidents, very different in nature but all centered around supposed anti-jewish or anti-Israel ‘discrimination’ embedded in supporting BDS.
Richard Silverstein says
@ Jaap: Yes you are right. I used shorthand concerning the resolution passed by the Bundestag and probably wasn’t precise enough in my description. And your portrayal of the intent of the resolution is correct as well.
Maybe there has been fewer terror attacks on German Jews, but consider who is carrying out anti-Semitic attacks and harassment of German Jews.
“Slightly more than half of Germany’s Jewish respondents to the E.U. survey said they have directly experienced anti-Semitic harassment within the last five years, and of those, the plurality, 41 percent, perceived the perpetrator of the most serious incident to be “someone with a Muslim extremist view.”
Richard Silverstein says
@ Benyamin: I wouldn’t trust that poll as far as I could throw it. The NYT article was typically anecdotal and sensational as well. Second, what is by far the most popular European country for emigrating Israelis to choose? Germany. There are well over 100,000 Israeli immigrants living there. Would they choose a country that they believed was anti-Semitic or in which their lives were endangered? No. If German Jews are afraid for their lives why aren’t they fleeing to Israel, the supposed safe haven for Jews?
Oh and btw, I don’t hear Bibi geshreying about German Jews being welcome in Israel. Why is it when there’s an Islamist terror attack in France he hocks French Jews about making aliyah. But when there’s a neo-Nazi attack on Jews in Germany…a milquetoast condemnation?
Germany is accused of downplaying anti-Semitic attacks by Muslims (for political reasons).
I have this odd feeling that I am ‘done with this thread’.
Have a great weekend!
Richard Silverstein says
@ Benyamin: Lipschitz, the reporter, is a pro-Israel ideologues masquerading as a journalist who publishes with all the far-right shmattehs including Jerusalem Post, Jewish Journal, etc. Let’s take the first sentence of his piece as an example:
What a load of unmitigated horse crap! It’s pure Islamophobia. It’s stupid. It’s reductionist. How can you expect anyone to take this seriously? The fact that you obviously do reflects poorly on you. And indicates that you too share the benighted views displayed here.
Again, I wouldn’t trust anything he wrote as far as I could throw it. They’re among the worst at exploiting alleged anti-Semitism on behalf of pro-Israel hasbara objectives
And yes, you are done in this thread.