German Jewish groups criticize government’s non-Jewish anti-Semitism commission

( German Jewish groups have criticized the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel for founding a new commission on anti-Semitism that is comprised entirely of non-Jewish experts.

The government of German Chancellor Angela Merkel founded a commission to fight anti-Semitism that does not include Jewish members. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The decision is "a unique scandal,” said Julius Schoeps, head of the Moses Mendelssohn Center for European-Jewish Studies. "German lawmakers and the interior minister must ask themselves why... clearly no value is placed on experts from Jewish organizations and communities," he said, Reuters reported.

Schoeps said that the Mendelssohn Center, together with with the American Jewish Committee and the Amadeu Antonio Foundation against anti-Semitism and racism, plans to found an alternative commission that will include both Jewish and non-Jewish experts.

“Nobody would even think of creating a conference on hatred of Islam without Muslims or a round table on the discrimination of women without women,” said Anetta Kahane of the Amadeu Antonio Foundation.

The German government has not yet responded to this criticism. Meanwhile, the existing commission’s members include Werner Bergmann, sociology professor at Berlin Technical University's Centre for Research on Anti-Semitism, and Patrick Siegele, director of the Anne Frank Centre in Berlin. This is the second such commission established by the German government. The first commission was established in 2011, with the government stating at the time that "fighting anti-Semitism in all its various forms is a political priority of the government.”

Posted on February 10, 2015 .