|June 28th, 2015||#1|
German public "unconcerned" over anti-Semitism: survey
Germans more worried about Islamophobic attacks, climate; Jewish body calls to raise awareness of Holocaust
Germans worry more about anti-Muslim racism than anti-Semitism. According to a new survey, the number of Germans who express concern over crimes and discrimination against Muslims is double the number of those worried about violent acts targeting Jews. The survey, conducted last week for the European Jewish Association (EJA), also found that only a quarter of the German public believes that the EU should intensify the measures taken to eradicate anti-Semitism.
The European Research Institute YouGov, which surveyed online a representative sample of 1,991 adults, found that the German public ranks the problem of anti-Semitism only in ninth place out of ten challenges that European society needs deal with it.
Most Germans viewed immigration (53%), climate change and the environment (44%), and terrorism (42%) as the biggest problems facing Germany. Only seven percent of the surveyed Germans mentioned anti-Semitism as a problem of importance, while 15 percent of them named anti-Muslim racism as such.
“This survey draws a realistic picture of the mood in Germany,” President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany Josef Schuster told i24news following the publication of the survey. “Due to the terror attacks by Islamic fundamentalists at the beginning of this year, a lot of people feel threatened. Unfortunately, most of the anti-Semitic crimes receive less attention.”
“We need sustained efforts to struggle against anti-Semitism,” he continued. “The German public must be aware of the danger of these extremists, who are fanatic anti-Semites.”
Yet 39% of the surveyed Germans expressed believe that the current measures taken against anti-Semitism today are sufficient, while 15% of them even thought those should be reduced. “The German public is not aware of the upward trend of anti- Semitic attacks,” emphasized EJA General Director, Rabbi Menachem Margolin.
According to most recent crime statistics, the number of anti-Semitic attacks rose by 25% over the past year, in which 1,596 such incidents were recorded. Previously the German government presented data which pointed to a slight decrease in attacks targeting Jews: 1,275 incidents in 2013, as appose to 1,374 attacks the year before, but German officials denied this necessarily indicates a positive trend.
“The fact that such a percentage of the German public does not see a need to engage in anti-Semitic activity is an expression of an educational failure in implementing the lessons of the Holocaust,” claimed Margolin.
Schuster also recommended expending the focus giving to the subject in schools, including additional visits to former concentration camps. “The efforts to provide knowledge about the Shoah could be more intensive, especially with students from immigrant families.”
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