As reported on our front page this week, the massive numbers of refugees streaming into Germany from the Middle East have brought with them anti-Semitic and anti-Israel views. The fears and dire predictions of leaders of German Jewry and other Jewish communities are unfortunately being confirmed. It is now necessary for the political leadership of Europe to get over its warm and fuzzy embrace of those they initially saw only as desperate victims and deal with a reality that is far more complex.
German chancellor Angela Merkel seems to have backtracked from her recent expansive welcome to the refugees. She has now taken to cautioning her fellow Germans to be vigilant concerning the anti-Semitic sentiments among those coming from “countries where hatred of Israel and anti-Semitism is widespread.”
“We have observed,” she said, “in several schools and meeting places [anti-Semitic events [led] by young people, against which every adult has to act. We must also encourage students who think differently. We can try to reason [with them] again and again but it should also be clear: [anti-Semitism] has no place in our society…we must simply put clear limits.”
Ms. Merkel has now begun to echo the concerns raised in November by the president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany who pointed to the danger of the growing number of refuges seeking asylum coming from countries where “hostility toward Israel and anti-Semitism are a common practice.”
Better late than never.