Germany’s immigration policy under Chancellor Angela Merkel is under attack again, this time from within her own government. There is however another wrinkle to the immigration story, it is the case of Muslim migrant attacks against Jews in Germany. The recent rape and murder of a Jewish girl named Susanna Maria Feldman, 14, from the city of Mainz, in Western Germany, by a 19-year Muslim migrant, that Merkel enthusiastically admitted into Germany, stirred the country, and raised further questions about the open-door immigration policy of Merkel’s government.
Angela Merkel’s coalition government may be torn apart on the issue of immigration. Horst Seehofer, leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian conservative party, has pledged to reverse Chancellor Merkel’s open-door policy toward migrants. Germany has absorbed 1.4 million migrants since 2015, the vast majority of them being Muslims from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Seehofer, the Interior Minister in Merkel’s coalition government is concerned by the rise of the anti-immigrant party Alternative for Germany (AfD) whose success in the polls, and its surprise showing in the 2017 election (capturing 12.6% of the votes) may now threaten the supremacy of his party in Bavaria. State elections in Bavaria are scheduled for October this year. For now, Merkel and Seehofer have agreed to wait for a resolution to the immigrant issue at next week’s European Union (EU) summit in Brussels.
Seehofer has gotten a back wind from his neighboring Austrian government, which tightened its immigration laws, and the more recent victory in Italy of the anti-establishment, anti-immigrant, and anti-European Union coalition of the 5-Star Movement and the Northern League. This month, Slovenia also elected an anti-immigrant party, the Slovenian Democratic Party, led by former Prime Minister Janez Jansa. Victor Orban, Hungary’s Prime Minister, and a staunch opponent of Muslim immigrants, stumping for Jansa, declared, “If Europe surrenders to mass population movement and immigration, our own Continent will be lost…The aim is to settle among us people who do not belong to our culture, and who will want to live here according to their own religions and customs.” Seehofer has caused controversy in March this year when he declared that “Islam does not belong to Germany.” Bavaria’s premier, Markus Söder, siding with Seehofer, said, “Asylum tourism must end, we have to consider our own people, not always focus on the whole of Europe.”
The Muslim migrants’ religious and political culture is steeped in violent anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiments. It has already been evident in anti-Jewish violence. In April this year, a 19-year old Israeli-Arab wearing a kippah, to prove the lack of anti-Semitism in Germany, was attacked by Muslim immigrants in Berlin. A 2017 survey by the Research Office on Anti-Semitism in Berlin documented 947 incidents of anti-Semitic attacks, threats, and anti-Jewish vandalism in Berlin. It amounts to more than twice the number from the previous year. In May, 2018, coinciding with President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, waves of anti-Semitic hate protests in Berlin and Munich took place, where Arab and Turkish demonstrators burned Israeli flags, chanted anti-Semitic slogans, and flew the flags of the terrorist organization Hamas. Synagogues and Jewish centers in Germany are now under police protection. It is a reminder that Jews are once again persecuted in Germany, albeit, not sanctioned this time by the German government.
In April this year, a German rap group, Kollegah and Farid Bang, who converted to Islam, received an award for their anti-Semitic lyrics that coincided with the Holocaust Remembrance Day. German Culture Minister Monika Gruetters said that the lyrics “crossed the line,” and Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas tweeted, “anti-Semitic provocations do not deserve awards, they are disgusting.” Still, other than words, nothing has been done to punish these anti-Semites. The German authorities are seemingly more sensitive to Muslim concerns than protecting Jews or for that matter, Christian German girls raped by gangs of Muslim migrants during the 2015⁄2016 New Year celebrations.
Three years ago Angela Merkel opened Germany’s doors to over a million migrants, most of them fleeing the Syrian civil-war. They were admitted without being properly vetted. Some among the majority of single men who arrived in Germany have proven to be terrorists affiliated with the Islamic State who blended with genuine refugees. Merkel has apparently sought to rehabilitate Germany’s image given its Nazi past. She undoubtedly meant well. Her decision however, failed to consider the culture and education of the migrants she admitted. These migrants were inculcated with hatred toward Jews and Israel, and with little love for Christians and western culture as well. Yet, little has been done by the German authorities to re-educate the migrants on such values as religious tolerance, or the norms of western democracy, before letting them loose upon German society.
A study last December by the American Jewish Committee found widespread anti-Semitism among Syrian and Iraqi Arab refugees the researchers interviewed. Merkel, being forced to admit that this about the new arrivals, said “We have a phenomenon, as we have many refugees among whom there are, for example, people of Arab origins who bring another form of anti-Semitism into the country.” Dr. Günther Jikeli, an historian and expert on anti-Semitism who conducted the AJC survey in Berlin concluded that, “This study should send a wake-up call to government and civil society. Our political leaders must make certain that anti-Semitic attitudes will not be tolerated, and that infractions of the law will be prosecuted. In addition, the classes that newcomers take to integrate them into German life should include information about Jewish life in Germany and the country’s connections with Israel, as well as values of liberal democracy.”
As a result of the visible rise in anti-Semitic incidents in Germany perpetrated by Muslim migrants, Merkel said that she has appointed a special commissioner to fight against anti-Semitism. Unfortunately, with a multitude of radicalized Muslim immigrants already in Germany, it will be impossible to stamp out the imbedded anti-Semitic attitudes of these migrants, short of expelling them from Germany.
In the meantime, the EU summit on migration and asylum scheduled for the end of the month will test whether the EU can come together on a unified immigration policy. It is unlikely however, that Italy for example, would accept migrants currently in Germany as Seehofer wishes to implement. For Seehofer to act unilaterally in Bavaria, against the explicit opposition from Merkel, could lead to the collapse of the German government, which was sworn in only three months ago.
What Europe is experiencing is another sort of invasion. In 1683, the Ottoman Turks stood at the gates of Vienna, ready to march on the Vatican and make Europe ‘safe for Islam.’ Today, it is no longer an armed invasion, but nonetheless, the aim of many among the Muslim migrants is to Islamize Europe and Germany. Given the demographic death-wish of the European natives, it may take only a few decades for Islam to conquer Europe without firing a shot.