Halle, Germany — Anti-Semitism has exponentially increased globally over the last few years and in Germany, it more than doubled from last year, rising to 48 from the previous year of 21.
The suspect in an attack on a synagogue on the holiest Jewish holiday, Yom Kippur, was lugging around 9 pounds of explosives in his car and planned to carry out a massacre, German prosecutors said. [H/T World Israel News]
He live-streamed the attack in which he killed two people with the hope to inspire more attacks on Jews. And since he was not of a particular religion and was a white supremacist, the U.S. mainstream media was happy to carry the story. The Washington Post was quick to mention other attacks carried out by white supremacists, such as the Norway attack, but made no mention of attacks carried out by anti-Semitic Islamists, like the attack on the Jewish delicatessen in France, and other attacks against Jews .
Thankfully, the doors of the synagogue were locked which prevented more Jews from being killed by the alleged attacker.
It wasn’t clear how he was able to get his hands on the weapons he used.
The assailant — a German citizen identified by prosecutors but will not be identified here — tried but failed to force his way into the synagogue that held about 80 worshipers. He then shot and killed a woman in the street outside and a man at a nearby kebab shop. He is now in custody.
“What we experienced yesterday was terror,” said Peter Frank, the chief federal prosecutor. “The suspect, [not named here], aimed to carry out a massacre in the synagogue in Halle.” Yes, he was trying to open the locked door which was when the police were notified and took 10 minutes to arrive.
Frank said his weapons were “apparently homemade” and the explosives in the car were built into “numerous devices.” The suspect, who live-streamed the attack on a popular gaming site while ranting in English about Jews and posted a “manifesto” online before embarking on it, “wanted to create a worldwide effect” and encourage others to imitate him, the prosecutor added.
The alleged attacker is suspected of two counts of murder, nine of attempted murder and other offenses, Frank said. His apartment was searched and investigators were sifting evidence. But “we face a lot of questions,” he added.
Officials didn’t provide details of the victims, who were killed outside the synagogue and in a nearby kebab shop. Ironically, Yom Kippur is a day of fasting so it’s feasible to believe that the person at the kebab shop was not Jewish.
Josef Schuster, the leader of Germany’s Jewish community said that the absence of police guards outside the synagogue on such a high holy day is “scandalous.”
The head of the city’s Jewish community, Max Privorozki, was among those inside who watched on monitors linked to a surveillance camera as the man was trying to break in to do more killing.
“We saw everything, also how he shot and how he killed someone,” the Jewish community leader said, standing outside the damaged door. “I thought this door wouldn’t hold.”
“That was a shock for us. It was Yom Kippur, all phones were switched off. We had to understand what was going on first — then switch on my phone and then call the police,” he said. “It was really panic. But I have to say after that, when the police came, we continued with the worship service, that lasted another three hours.”
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier met with community representatives at the synagogue Thursday. “It is not enough to condemn such a cowardly attack,” he said. “It must be clear that the state takes responsibility for the safety of Jewish life in Germany,” he added, saying that society overall must show “a clear, determined position of solidarity” with Jews.
“History reminds us, the present demands of us” that Germans must stand by their Jewish compatriots, he said. “Those who so far have been silent must speak out.”
Synagogues are often protected by police in Germany and have been for many years amid concerns over far-right and Islamic extremism. There has been rising concern lately about both anti-Semitism and right-wing extremism in the country which contains about 24,100 members, over half of whom are violent.
This attack makes a great case for the Second Amendment as written in the U.S. Constitution which views the ownership of firearms for self-protection as an inalienable right.
Joachim Herrmann, Bavaria’s state interior minister, accused members of the nationalist, anti-migrant Alternative for Germany Party of helping stir up anti-Semitism, an accusation the Party denies. Some figures in the Party, which entered the national parliament in 2017, have made comments appearing to downplay the Nazi past. And Hitler was a misunderstood artist.
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon called on the president of the Security Council and the entire U.N. “to condemn the terrorist attack in Germany and take action against anti-Semitic terrorism.”
According to a statement released by Danon’s office: “The scourge of anti-Semitism is spreading in Europe, but threatens the entire world. The international community must declare war on anti-Semitism and act firmly to end hatred of the Jewish people around the world. Jews should not have to look over their shoulders in fear for their lives during prayer.”
But sadly, it seems as though anti-Semitism has become acceptable in the West and now makes for cocktail conversation. This must stop for goodness sake–literally.