Germany adopts anti-Semitism resolution

(JTA) — With overwhelming support from the country’s main political parties, the German parliament has passed a resolution committing itself to renewed action against anti-Semitism.

Thursday’s resolution committed Germany to producing a report on “all the issues surrounding the theme of anti-Semitism in Germany, as a special form of group-oriented xenophobia, setting specific priorities.” The resolution also emphasized the special relationship between Germany and Israel and stressed the fact that solidarity with Israel is essential to the German state. It also condemned Israel-related anti-Semitism and terrorist organizations like Hesbollah.

The resolution was supported by the Christian Democratic Union, the Social Democratic Party, the Free Democratic Party and the Greens. The Left Party reportedly abstained due to the resolution’s declaration that solidarity with Israel’s security is “Staatsräson” for Germany — an essential aspect of the German political identity.

Adopted amid reports that the number of violent anti-Semitic attacks rose to 36 in 2012, up from 22 the year before, the resolution was welcomed by German Jewish leaders.

Dieter Graumann, head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, praised the Bundestag for “giving such a credible signal” of its commitment to combat anti-Semitism.

Deidre Berger, head of the Berlin office of the American Jewish Committee, said in a statement that “an action plan is now urgently needed from the federal government and Ministry of Education and the Arts, on how and when the measures that have been agreed on will be carried out.”

 

Also Thursday, Germany’s Minister of the Interior Hans-Peter Friedrich said that the fight against anti-Semitism must involve all of democratic society.

Friedrich’s comments were made at a conference in Berlin on security for Jewish institutions in Europe sponsored by the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe. The conference included sessions about how Jewish communities communicate their security concerns and how states respond to them.

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