The Synagogues Are Burning Again in Germany

By Michael Brown Published on January 14, 2017

There is shocking news this week from Germany. Three Palestinian Muslims who torched a synagogue in Wuppertal, Germany have been given suspended sentences because their actions allegedly represented a justified criticism of Israel. A regional court has upheld the decision of a lower court, also agreeing that the actions of these Muslim men were not antisemitic. And to think that this happened in Germany, a nation that still bears the shame of the Holocaust.

According to many historians, the Holocaust began on the evening of Nov. 9, 1938, known today as Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass. On that fateful night, the Nazis set Jewish synagogues on fire and vandalized Jewish businesses, all while the public stood by and did nothing. This sent a message to the Nazi leaders: We will not stop your attacks on our Jewish neighbors and friends. You have a free hand.

A synagogue that was originally burned by the Nazis in 1938 is torched by Muslims in 2014, and two courts say, “Not a big deal. We understand your frustration.”

Now, Muslims torch a synagogue and the courts look on and yawn. What message does this send to the Muslim world, especially to Muslims living in Germany? And what message does this send to German Jews, especially considering that, “The original synagogue in Wuppertal was burned by Germans during the Kristallnacht pogroms in 1938.” This is absolutely chilling.

The Growing Antisemitism

A 2013 survey revealed that 1 in 4 European Jews was afraid to wear a yarmulke (or kippah), the head-covering worn by religious Jews. In 2015, it was reported that the Central Council of Jews in Germany warned religious Jews not to wear a kippah for fear of their safety. And in 2016, in Berlin, “Unknown perpetrators kicked and beat a 21-year-old Jewish man wearing a kippah after slurring him with anti-Semitic insults.”

This represents a dangerous, unnerving trend, and the regional court’s decision to uphold the preposterous ruling of the lower court certainly sends a dangerous signal.

Given the efforts that Germany makes to distance itself from the Holocaust — including making it a crime to deny the Holocaust — one would think that if there was any act that would be promptly condemned by the German courts, it would be setting a synagogue on fire. Yet a synagogue that was originally burned by the Nazis in 1938 is torched by Muslims in 2014, and two courts say, “Not a big deal. We understand your frustration.”

With good reason Robert Spencer exclaimed, “Meet the new Germany, same as the old Germany. This ruling is the apotheosis of Islamopandering. Would a German court say that the attempted torching of a mosque was a justified criticism of jihad terror attacks? Of course not. Nor should it. But this ruling shows how desperate German authorities are to appease their rapidly growing and increasingly aggressive Muslim population.”

According to the first court’s ruling in 2015, the Palestinian attackers “wanted to draw ‘attention to the Gaza conflict’ with Israel. Moreover, “The court deemed the attack not to be motivated by antisemitism.” What kind of drivel is this?

These Muslims did not attack the Israeli embassy in Germany, which, in theory, could have served as an illegal protest of Israeli policies — in this case, Israel’s war on Hamas terrorists — without raising the charge of antisemitism. But they didn’t torch the embassy, nor did they specifically target Israelis, which, again, while being ugly and illegal, could have theoretically been directed as Israel in particular rather than at Jews in general.

But these Palestinian men attacked a Jewish synagogue in Wuppertal, thereby holding all Jews responsible for Israel’s actions, and thereby engaging in a blatant, antisemitic act. In that same spirit, when Israel previously waged war on Hamas in 2009, a female Muslim protester at a demonstration in Fort Lauderdale, FL, cried out, “Go back to the oven. You need a big oven, that’s what you need.”

Yes, those evil Jews deserve to be exterminated, and what Israel does, all Jews do. As Martin Luther King, Jr., reportedly said in 1968, “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism.”

While this dictum is not always true, it is quite often true, and in the case of Palestinian Muslims expressing their frustration with Israel by throwing Molotov cocktails at a synagogue, it is definitely true.

History Can Repeat Itself

The lesson of all this is clear: German Jews, along with European Jews in general, have no business thinking that history cannot repeat itself. Numerous articles document the steadily rising tide of antisemitism in Europe, and just as the handwriting was on the wall in Germany long before 1938, the handwriting is forming on the wall again. (Consider that the blatantly antisemitic Nuremburg laws, which “excluded German Jews from Reich citizenship and prohibited them from marrying or having sexual relations with persons of ‘German or related blood’,” among other restrictions, were instituted in 1935.)

This recent court ruling, upholding the earlier court’s decision, should serve as a wake-up call to all Jews in Germany. It also should serve as a wake-up call to all people of conscience in Germany, especially professing Christians. Will you stand idly by, or will you take a stand with the Jewish people of your nation?

History is watching once again.

Print Friendly
Comments ()
The Stream encourages comments, whether in agreement with the article or not. However, comments that violate our commenting rules or terms of use will be removed. Any commenter who repeatedly violates these rules and terms of use will be blocked from commenting. Comments on The Stream are hosted by Disqus, with logins available through Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or G+ accounts. You must log in to comment. Please flag any comments you see breaking the rules. More detail is available here.
  • LYoung

    Egregiously foreboding, friends.
    Our God is well aware.

  • NickRepublic

    I hope that our German brothers and sisters in Christ will act to help prevent this from happening again.

  • Another reason we should curtail Muslim immigration. A significant portion will alter Christian nation’s relationship with Jews. Jews are our religious forefathers. They should have a special place in our countries. Is it any wonder that European countries with Muslim populations 20x that of their Jewish that they are increasingly anti Semitic and anti Israel in their foreign policy? Increased Islamic demographics will alter our internal political dynamics.

    • 6Proverbs16

      Anti-Semitism has had a long time home in America, and still has a strong home here! You seem to have forgotten that?! Your duty is to deny a place to anti-Semitism here in America. And for all Americans to deny a place to anti-Semitism in EVERY LAND where Jewish people live! You seem to have forgotten that too! ?

      • Where have I forgotten anything? Who are you to excoriate me? I have no idea what you’re talking about. My comment – if you can read English – was in support of Jews. Buzz off.

  • Patmos

    “their actions allegedly represented a justified criticism of Israel.”

    If it were a criticism of Israel then the attack would have been directed at Israeli diplomats, not a synagogue.

    Europe is an absolute mess right now, and the US is not far behind, having removed God from their knowledge they have been given over to a reprobate mind. It’s the same thing that happened throughout The Old Testament: The people of God turn away from God, and are overcome by savagery.

  • 6Proverbs16

    Jews have been fleeing Satanic Lord Putin’s Russia by the THOUSANDS! … Satanic Lord Putin is no friend to Jews, not friend to Christians, and not friend to Americans!

  • 6Proverbs16

    YOUR statement, shockingly and sadly, implies that we should leave Jews to suffer in other countries where they live! It is ridiculous and shameful to make issues of horrible anti-Semitic about the state of Israel! THAT is what the evil anti-Semites claim: that the state of Israel is a problem! The problem is ANTI-SEMITISM not the state of Israel or not the state of Israel! Americans who make anti-Semitism about Israel play into the evil hands of anti-Semitism! WE who defend Jews’ liberty – WHEREVER THEY LIVE – must deny anti-Semitism a place in America (and it has a longtime home here, don’t be mistaken!) and deny anti-Semitism a place in ANY COUNTRY!

    • Patmos

      “implies that we should leave Jews to suffer in other countries”

      No, it doesn’t imply that at all. Just because Miriam’s statement did not address every atrocity in the world does not mean Miriam then somehow advocates we ignore those as well. Your rants seem mostly generated for the sake of ranting.

      • 6Proverbs16

        Not at all. Because we see local Evangelicals who bluster and blubber all the time about ‘loving Israel’ and go right ahead with the most ignorant anti-Semitism in their daily lives.

    • I don’t think you know how to read English, or there is something wrong with you mentally. She does no such thing.

    • Betsy

      The button you are trying to sew a whole shirt on isn’t even the right color button. You should stop attacking people for what you think they said, which is the exact opposite of what they actually said or meant.

      • 6Proverbs16

        Velcro is better. With velcro closures there is not ‘button from the top down’, or ‘from the bottom up’. Just push it all closed. Same with shoes with velcro closures: no ties, no threading from the bottom to the top eye. Just push it closed. You obviously love Trump for being NOT politically correct. Stop being politically correct about button, shoes, and the way people argue. After all Trump argues twelve different things all contradictory and you love that, don’t you?

        • Betsy

          I’m just going to assume, at this point, that you have had too much to drink. It’s he kindest interpretation I can make.

          • 6Proverbs16

            Sorry, Sir/Madam/Whomsoever thou art: never smoked a single cigarette – of any substance – and if have one glass of wine monthly that is a lot (although medical science suggest that daily is fine and may actually be good!) Wishing you well.

    • NickRepublic

      English much?

      • Jim Walker

        6Proverbs16 does selective reading :
        This is what he read :

        This is what we all read :

        • NickRepublic

          I do support Israel. I have made enemies because I’ve spoken to people who wanted to continue in their anti-Semitic lies.

  • jayceej

    When will they learn that appeasement brings escalation? People with an evil agenda, no matter what it is, or where they live, will constantly push the envelope to see how much they can get away with.

  • Olaf

    It was not lest week, this torching took place in 2015 or 2014. I do not know how this came to your desk this week.

    • Stagester

      Because the appeals court just ruled on the case last week.

      • Olaf

        okay, thanks for the clarification.

  • Bill-Zion Kristollnacht

    It’s annuda Shoah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Everyone, grab your Gefilte Fish and book a ticket to Tel Aviv!!!!!

    It’s a Shoah!!!!!!!!!!

  • TheSaint4JC

    The Muslims will attack the Jews first… and when they see the blind eye of the Jew’s host country and have finished driving out the Jews… the Muslims will turn their eyes on the host country….

    Justly so, may God curse those who curse Israel.

  • Sean

    This article makes me think of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. As Christians we should be reminded of his famous saying: “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” On another occasion: “Being a Christian is less about cautiously avoiding sin than about courageously and actively doing God’s will.” God grant us the courage as a people to stand for you in our daily lives.

History is His Story
Dwight Longenecker
More from The Stream
Connect with Us