Worrying new statistics out of Germany show a significant rise in anti-Semitic crimes committed in 2014, after a drop in 2013, The Times of Israel reported. Such incidents were up 25.2 percent, with 1,596 offenses reported last year. Crimes against foreigners were also up 21.5 percent to 3,945.
German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere spoke to reporters Wednesday. Although some of the increase could be attributed to changes in reporting methods, which now more closely track perpetrators’ motivations, “this development is worrying and must be stopped,” he said. He does not see a solution based solely on politics, but believes the “whole of society is needed.”
The entire European continent has been experiencing a troubling uptick in anti-Semitism recently. In January, a series of attacks in France left 17 dead as gunmen shot up a satirical magazine and a Kosher supermarket. Inspired by these murders, a gunman in Copenhagen killed a filmmaker at a panel discussion and another civilian outside a synagogue, injuring several others, in February.
Last month, Amnesty International rejected a resolution to condemn the rise of anti-Semitism there, which surveyed at its worst levels in thirty years. Additionally, last summer’s Operation Protective Edge, in which Israel sought to prevent rocket fire and terrorist infiltration from Gaza, drew considerable criticism across Europe.
In Germany, a November poll showed one in four citizens equates Israel’s policies towards Palestinians with those of Nazis towards Jews. Survey results also showed a spike in negativity towards Israel and Jews in general between June and September 2014, when Operation Protective Edge took place. One in five respondents agreed that Israel’s policies made Jews in general less likeable.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has vowed to do everything in her power to make German Jews feel safe. Her government has been criticized, however, for neglecting to include even one Jewish member in its new commision on anti-Semitism. The last commission, in 2011, was also critiqued for not resulting in any changes in the situation of Jews in Germany.