The brutal murder of a German-Jewish girl reminded Germans that their liberal immigration policy is at odds with the fight against anti-Semitism and the defense of liberal values.
It is not clear whether the brutal rape and murder of a German-Jewish teenage girl at the hands of an Iraqi asylum seeker was motivated by anti-Semitism. German law authorities claim it was not. But these are the same authorities that have attempted to obscure the motives and identity of Muslim migrant criminals in an attempt to prevent a violent backlash against Muslims by Germans.
What is clear, however, is that Germany’s overly compassionate response to refugees, asylum seekers and even economic migrants from the Middle East and Africa is undermining Germany’s ability to protect its own citizens, in particular its tiny Jewish community, and uphold values.
Details of how Ali Bashar raped and strangled to death 14-year-old Susanna Maria Feldman in the German city of Wiesbaden emerged at the end of last week. On Saturday, thanks to the cooperation of officials in the autonomous Kurdistan region in Iraq, Bashar, who fled Germany, was apprehended and returned to Germany to stand trial.
The tragic case of Feldman is just the latest in a long list of incidents pointing to a problem Germans have tried to ignore: Germany’s immigration policy. In the past few years, the country has opened its gates to a million migrants from Syria and other locations in the Middle East and Africa, and this policy has radically changed German society for the worse.
Earlier this month, a 17-year-old Berlin-born Israeli Jew named Yonatan was assaulted at the Zoologischer Garten Station in Berlin by a group of Arab youths who heard him playing Israeli music on his phone.
The Arabs surrounded him and started screaming, “Hebrew music? You’ve been killing children for 70 years. Berlin is now our town and here we don’t listen to f*** Jewish music.” They then attacked him physically.
Last month, a 19-year-old Syrian man was charged in an assault in Berlin on a young man wearing a skullcap. It later emerged that the victim was an Israeli Arab who had donned a kippa in a bet with a friend to see whether it was true that kippa-wearing Jews were targets of violence from Muslim migrants.
Germany’s response to these attacks have been commendable. Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned Feldman’s murder.
“The incredible suffering experienced by the family, the victim, affects everyone, including me,” she said on the sidelines of a G7 summit meeting in Canada.
“This is a reminder to all of us, first, to take the task of integration very seriously, to make our common values very clear, again and again. But also to punish any crime. We can only live together if we all stick to our laws.”
After the previous attacks, thousands of Germans of different faith groups donned kippot in several cities and marched in solidarity with the Jewish community. Some Muslim women wore kippot over their hijabs.
Merkel’s decision in 2015 to open Germany to what has become over a million migrants from the Middle East and Africa — three-quarters of whom are men with ideas about women’s rights, freedom and democracy that are radically different from most Europeans’ — was undoubtedly motivated by the best of intentions. It cannot be seen in isolation from Germany’s ongoing attempt over the past seven decades since the end of World War II to atone for its Nazi past.
But Germany’s thoughtless immigration policy has made it all the more challenging for Germans to adhere to another German ideal, the protection of Jews from anti-Semitic violence. As Merkel remarked on January 27, International Holocaust Memorial Day, “It is inconceivable and shameful that no Jewish institution can exist without police protection, whether it is a school, a kindergarten or a synagogue.”
Germans will to have to decide: open borders or German society. Protecting Germany’s Jews — and Germany’s self-professed ideals of democracy, freedom and liberalism — will prove to be increasingly difficult unless Germans make a radical reappraisal of their immigration policy.