GERMANY - Antisemitic Crimes Rose 15% in 2020

J. Froese

Berlin police arrested a 53-year-old German man on suspicion of sending dozens of threatening letters to politicians, lawyers and journalists that were signed with the acronym of a neo-Nazi group, as officials warned that statistics show a disturbing rise in far-right extremism across Germany. 

Antisemitic crimes rose by more than 15 percent in 2020, the data showed. 

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said far-right crime rose 5.65% in 2020, accounting for more than half of all criminality categorized as “politically motivated.” 

“This shows again that right-wing extremism is the biggest threat for our country,” Seehofer told reporters while announcing the annual statistics.

The letters were signed “NSU 2.0.” A German group called the National Socialist Underground was responsible for a string of violent crimes between 1998 and 2011, including the racially motivated killings of nine men with immigrant backgrounds and a police officer. The group’s name was derived from the full name of the Nazi, or National Socialist, party. 

German security agencies warned of the growing threat of violent far-right extremism. In July 2019, a regional politician from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party was killed by a neo-Nazi; three months later, a gunman tried to force his way into a synagogue on Yom Kippur, killing two people. 

Seehofer said the new statistics reveal an ongoing increase in antisemitic crimes in Germany, which was up 15.7% in 2020 over 2019 with 2,351 total incidents—94.6% of which were committed by a far-right suspect.

Of the total, 62 were acts of violence while the majority were antisemitic hate speech and other related crimes, frequently on the internet or over social media, Seehofer said.

“This development in Germany is not only troubling, but in view of our history, deeply shameful,” he said.

Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, said the German numbers highlight a broader issue.

“This is a wake-up call, not just for Germany, but for the whole world,” he said. “These figures should ring alarm bells, because we are seeing similar trends across the Western world.”

-www.timesofisrael.com, 4 May 2021

Commentary

We have previously noted upticks in anti-Semitism around the world, but this most recent report from The Times of Israel puts concrete numbers to them, at least in Germany: 2,351 incidents in 2020, and troublingly, 94.6% perpetrated by right-wing extremists.

In the evangelical Christian world, we often like to point out anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism perpetrated by Muslims and the left, but it appears that—at least in the Western world—much more of these crimes are committed by politically conservative and, unfortunately, often nominally Christian people and groups.

Mark 13:22 warns us that in the end times, “false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.” This puzzling verse does not detail how “even the elect” could be seduced, but we have already seen how a charismatic, populist, right-wing leader captured the hearts and minds of a largely “Christian” country: Nazi Germany. 

We should steel ourselves against the hateful rhetoric often found within some Christian communities. Remember that Jews, regardless of belief or unbelief, “…as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes” (Romans 11:28b). (By J. Froese)

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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