German Court Endorses Antisemitic Attack

There are still some things which really make my jaw hit the floor.  This is one of them:

A regional court in Germany has decided that a brutal attempt to set fire to a local synagogue in 2014 was an act meant to express criticism against Israel’s conduct in its ongoing conflict with Hamas.

A German regional court in the city of Wuppertal affirmed a lower court decision last Friday stating that a violent attempt to burn the city’s Bergische Synagogue by three men in 2014 was a justified expression of criticism of Israel’s policies.

Firstly, note the fact that the judge has endorsed the belief that there is a direct link between a Jewish building of worship in Germany and the state of Israel, i.e. to attack one is to protest the other. Secondly, the judge has endorsed arson as a legitimate form of protest. Add those two together and the judge has effective legalised violent attacks on Jews on the grounds that it is merely a form of political protest.  This in Germany, of all places.

It’s been my opinion for a while that Germany is fast disappearing up its own arse.  After WWII they fell over themselves at every opportunity to show they were no longer warmongering racists and over time this led them to believe they are the epitome of peace and tolerance.  Two or three generations on and they are so self-absorbed with their own sense of superiority that they have lost the ability to condemn and punish certain acts of violence that happen on their soil.  If they were to do so it might shake the foundations of what for the Germans is now religious dogma: when it comes to tolerance and forgiveness, nobody is purer than we.  For the German establishment and middle classes, it is better to excuse away certain things than to risk losing that mantle.

We saw it with Merkel’s decision to accept a million “refugees” into Germany without bothering to consult those who would be affected.  We saw it with the sexual assaults in Cologne on New Year’s Eve 2015/16.  This happened in Austria, but the mentality is much the same. Now we’ve got German judges refusing to condemn the attempted murder of Jews.

The problem, as this latest incident shows, is one that plagues self-righteous establishments in general, especially organisations like the BBC.  By refusing to condemn X they effectively endorse Y, and often by default they are inflicting on Y a judgement they cannot bring themselves bear on X.  Over time it becomes increasingly clear that they are working in the interests of X and against those of Y whether they realise it or not: to an outsider it is obvious.  Germans would probably be aghast if one were to tell them that at least one of their regional courts appears to be deeply prejudiced against Jews, because they would be so blinded by their self-righteous tolerance of Islamic violence that they’d not be able to see it.  But to anyone reading that report and noting German government policies over the past couple of years, it is becoming increasingly clear that Jews might want to consider putting in place a Plan B, probably one involving Israel.

I don’t think Jew-hatred runs through Germany like it did in the late 1930s, I’m not saying that.  I’m saying that they have fallen into the same trap as American academia and assorted social justice movements worldwide: by convincing themselves they are the epitome of tolerance and understanding they have actually become extremely intolerant towards anyone who doesn’t rank highly on their list of favoured clients.  There might be a difference between the German government sending brownshirts to smash up Jewish stores and a regional court giving the all-clear for Muslims to torch synagogues, but it is one that Jews might not appreciate too highly – especially if they happen to be sitting inside the synagogue at the time.  As we learn from the article:

The original synagogue in Wuppertal was burned by Nazis during the Kristallnacht pogroms in 1938.


There are elections coming up in Germany this year, and how German vote will determine whether they intend to continue taking their country in this direction or not.  I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday and she was fairly surprised that I thought we might see a civil war, or something akin to the Northern Ireland troubles, in a European country before too long.  Incidents like the one in Wuppertal do little to assure me that I might be wrong.


26 thoughts on “German Court Endorses Antisemitic Attack

  1. Er, iirc all the men were convicted and sentenced to time served. Off to look for the judgment, as this sounds highly fishy. A few words taken out of context in all probability .

  2. Finding the judgments might take some time (which I might not be prepared to do). From slightly less flustered sources than the JPost (including one German Jewish newspaper), this is what happened:

    First ruling: Prosecution claims attempted arson, defence claim it was criminal damage only. Prosecution get their conviction on their charge and sentences of time served plus suspended sentences. Prosecution appeals.

    Second ruling: suspended sentences increased. One defendant appeals.

    Third ruling: Defendant’s appeal rejected.

    The JPost’s irritation is about whether the crime was antisemitic in nature or not. The court felt it was not, and to be honest you do need some evidence to back that up. Add that to the entire discussion (in the UK at least) about whether “hate crime” invstigation is going completely over the top (that topic made the German press last week as well), and who knows.

    Fact is some thugs got relatively long sentences for relatively little damage. We’d be delighted to deport them to Israel as well.

  3. Thanks BiG.

    The problem isn’t so much that justice wasn’t done, it was that it was not seen to be done in a fair and consistent manner. There is a perception that Muslims are being treated with kid-gloves by European judiciaries that are terrified of being branded racist, and this has been passed down by politicians who harbour the same fears. Were somebody to attack a mosque he would be thrown in jail in short order, and there is no way a court would consider it a legitimate protest against ISIS. At the very least it would be considered a hate crime. Now I am all for the abolishment of “hate crimes” because I think it concerns something for which legislation is ill-suited to deal with, but the perception is that the law is not being applied equally or consistently across various groups. Note that I use the word perception: it may be that the perception is false, but perception insofar as justice is concerned is very important. The German courts might have acted correctly and according to the law, but if they do so in such a ham-fisted way that it appears they didn’t then they will be criticised. Aggregate a lot of such ham-fisted rulings and soon a perception is born which will be very difficult to shake and lead to some quite nasty voting patterns.

  4. including one German Jewish newspaper

    Incidentally, I read a criticism on Twitter that the well-connected Jews in Germany have also fallen foul of political correctness and are indistinguishable from the rest of the establishment. The criticism was to the effect that ordinary Jews are beginning to distrust them. I wonder how many German Jews prefer the take of the JP than Germany’s Jewish newspaper?

  5. Wuppertal of course. Where they also had the “Sharia police” case (no convictions). It is entirely possible (read: pretty certain) that the court there is somewhat left-leaning.

    Of having justice seen to be done, what are the JP suggesting? That they should have got five to ten? We’re talking about people who thought you make Molotov cocktails with diesel – they actually went out before landing on the steps of the synagogue. The damage done was the cost to clean up the spilled fuel. Sub four-lions stuff. Presumably foreign criminals should be deported – and we know where we would be deporting them back to had they received stiffer sentences. That would be true comedy gold justice.

    The JP is considered pretty shouty even in Israel (maybe I know mostly understated Israelis, if there is such a person) – think Daily Mail only with some actual real news content. I don’t think there are any “ordinary” Jews in Germany, they are all descendants of people who had reason to come back after the war. Factory workers and farmers didn’t do that – people with property and businesses to reclaim did. If there’s a divide it will be between the “old” Jews and recent immigrants from Israel (of which there are more than you would think).

  6. It just occurs that diesel is cheaper than petrol in Germany. You really couldn’t make this level of incompetence up.

  7. I am always in two minds about the process of law: on the one hand it makes some utterly stupid decisions (if only by suggesting a bias) but equally the case has rot be tried on the evidence available. If there is no ‘fireproof’ (pun intended) evidence then the court has little choice but to go easy. As one judge recently said, he wasn’t interested in what may be seen as ‘truth’ but in the case presented before him. A friend of mine was once a QC and his view was always that unless you were at the trial and even more that you hadn’t seen everything presented to the judge in the court or in chambers, you really couldn’t comment on good judgement or bad decision. On that basis, the law may well be doing exactly what it should.

    However, none of this excuses the fact that in essence, I agree with you Tim: the message sent –which may or many not be the raison d’être of the court — is that it is okay to burn Jewish buildings in Germany. The law as they say is an ass, and being ass-like doesn’t help any of us.

    I do believe however we are indeed at war. One side, bolstered by large numbers of Men of Military age (some eligible apparently for junior schools) has openly declared it so but this has been met by a solid refusal by our great and good (their terminology, not mine) that these savage tribes probably don’t mean it because hey, we westerners are lovely and we want to be your friend and anyway they don’t understand their own religion whereas we non-believers do. Ask Charlie on that one. So among all this virtue-signalling we are masking that our enemies are not only at the gates but well inside them too. The people who say they hate us are feasting on our benefits system if not yet our bones, and the current situation will not last. War and conflict is terrible and far-reaching and best avoided but there may be no choice. As the sainted peacemaker Obama said: “if they bring a knife we bring a gun.” It may indeed come to that. Whatever, the reality is that the current situation cannot go on, and while it is obvious to many of the despised ordinary people it isn’t to the cosy-living, wealthy cloud-people who shut their eyes and ears to it all. As the man who runs the Z Blog often says, this will not end well. But it will end.

    There are still lots of Europeans, and this includes many Germans, who are appalled at what is continually happening. There is a harder core to the Saxon and even Gallic peoples than is given credit. Berlin markets and Nice promenades may grab the headlines, but there is enough happening on a persistent, small and unsettling scale that makes ordinary people revolted and angry. That revolted feeling may well turn into the sort of revolution that western governments have so far striven to hold down; after all, our elite clearly cannot control the immigrant trouble so all they can do is try harder to suppress the indigent peoples.

    But even the tightest corked bottle can be worked loose with enough agitation. Yes, I fear there will be some sort of civil war, though this may be the first war where one’s own elected leaders (and remember the newcomers utterly reject democracy) are firmly on the side of the enemies of civilised life. Government has the power too: in Brussels some time ago water cannon was turned on anti-Islam protesters, yet no one can recall any water-cannon ever being turned on those demented people who carry signs saying that white Europe is dead and they will behead anyone they like. Odd that, hey?

  8. Of having justice seen to be done, what are the JP suggesting?

    That the court doesn’t endorse the view that attacking a synagogue – however incompetently – can be considered criticism of Israel and explicitly states that it cannot ever be. If they need to pass stiff sentences to make this point abundantly clear to others tempted to use this line of defence, then so be it.

  9. From what I can see (and to settle it we really need to look at the written judgment) the court accepted that they guys were boozed up and angry about the war. I cannot accept that the court believed that their actions were a “justified expression of criticism of Israeli policy” – but if you can find the original judgment (I am not going to go to Wuppertal to spend a day searching the archives) I will happily stand corrected.

    That these men are anti-semites, you and I can draw our own conclusions about what is likely, but the court cannot. The court wants evidence that their act was motivated by that anti-semitism in order to find judgment based on it. None was offered. And none is going to be forthcoming from a defendant who’s told by his lawyer to shut up and pray for conviction on the lesser charge.

    This is basically fake news. Highly selective conclusions drawn, pushed to their logical limit, contrary facts omitted, in order to whip your particular audience into a self-justified rage.

  10. The court wants evidence that their act was motivated by that anti-semitism in order to find judgment based on it.

    They’ve attacked a Jewish place of worship in protest at Israeli policies. You don’t need to take my word for it: this is the defence they offered. Their anger at Israeli policies might not be antisemitic, but their decision to attack a synagogue in protest was: they are holding random Jews responsible for Israeli policy and the Jewish nature of the building was the primary reason they targeted it. Now I admit some people – you, German courts, others – might not see this as antisemitic but some of us do, and we are free to call it as we see it.

    This is basically fake news.

    Synagogues in Germany attacked my Muslims over Israeli policies is fake news? Got it.

  11. The casual reader of the JPost article will think that a mob of baying Allah Akbars burned a synagogue to the ground and got let off lightly. As antisemitic attacks go this was pretty half-hearted, and the conviction for attempted arson was correct. There is no way the court found the attack “justified”. If they did there would have been no conviction, would there?

    Or does the JP think that they should receive a heavier sentence for attacking a synagogue than they would, say, a supermarket?

  12. Fake news is almost always based on some kernel of a real event. The “Hillary runs a pedo ring at a pizza parlour” kind of fake news is the exception. It is a story told selectively to justify its audience’s preconceptions. The Guardian (especially the print edition) is masterful at this type of fake news.

  13. To see how fake it is – even Watcher is telling us that the message sent (that if you try and fail to burn Jewish buildings in Germany you will do time) – is apparently saying “it is OK to burn Jewish buildings in Germany”. Well, if you want to do time I suppose it is.

  14. Well, if you want to do time I suppose it is.

    Well, time served awaiting trial and a suspended sentence.

  15. BiG: I said that? Wow, I thought I said nothing about failing, but thanks for interpreting my words so well.

    Much like the other point I made, in that the elite imagine what is meant and said, you saw straight through what i wrote. Good work!

  16. Two words; Cultural equivalence.

    The belief that all cultures have equal moral worth.

    I’m off to eat some human flesh for dinner now, because that’s my culture and you’re racist if you criticise me.

  17. Watcher, verbatim (emphasis added – if it works):

    “However, none of this excuses the fact that in essence, I agree with you Tim: the message sent –which may or many not be the raison d’être of the court — is that it is okay to burn Jewish buildings in Germany.”

    So yes, you did actually say that the message sent is that it is OK to burn Jewish buildings in Germany.

  18. I like visiting Germany and the German friends I have met are delightlful, cultured and intelligent individuals, and ,any of them have a sense of humour.

    I lived there less than a year, but I wouldn’t want to live there too much longer; there is something odd, indefinable really about the German psyche, possibly they are particularly prone to groupthink which coupled with their admirable propensity for team work, hardwork and doing things properly makes them, in my experience, more difficult to deal with than French, Spanish, Italians. When they’re on top this makes them insufferable, and when they’re down they’re paranoid.

    I don’t like expressing a judgement about a national characteristic – I try very hard to say about people what I would say to their face, and a statement like mine above can only be deeply unfair to most of the individuals concerned – but in for a penny, in for a pound; the EEC was doing ok until German unification came along now it’s ruining hundreds of millions of people’s lives through stupidity and bad government. Unfair to blame the Germans, of course it is. And I don’t. I blame Merkel a lot for her more stupid policy decisions.

    I think, and I hope, you are wrong Tim about a civil war, but it would be foolish to exclude the possibility. And if there is one then Merkel’s extraordinary folly will be partly to blame.

    But overall, my opinion is that there is a undercurrent of antisemitism in Germany, as there is in many places. THe shame and national self abasement of the post war years is gone and people are returning to their historical default position.

    Even their National Anthem can be little disconcerting in the way other nations’ aren’t.

  19. Italy’s national anthem isn’t disconcerting at all.

    Siamo pronti alla morte.

  20. Sorry BiG. Nope. You said “Watcher is telling us that the message sent (that if you try and fail to burn Jewish buildings in Germany you will do time) – is apparently saying “it is OK to burn Jewish buildings in Germany”.

    Hate to say it sir but I never said the word ‘fail.’ Not at any point. Your quote of sorts was in brackets and made an assumption I said it. You guessed I said it. But I didn’t. So… End of.

    But here’s the fun part; the perps tried to burn a building. Agree they intended to, or not? Interesting… because throwing things they believed would be flammable raises an interesting point about the process of law and order. The fact that they failed isn’t the issue. The question is are people to be indicted for an act or the intent?

    Discuss, but not with me.

  21. Watcher,

    “Let me pick up one possibly misplaced word from what you said” is the oldest trick in the book (except for the “lying on the bed with your arm on the floor trick”, of course).

    For the record the “fail” is referring to the (documented) failure of the attempted arson to become a completed arson.

    You stated your opinion that a German court is “sending the message that it is OK to burn Jewish buildings in Germany.” Which would actually be a more damning message to send than “it’s ok to try but fail to burn Jewish buildings in Germany”.

    Neither message is being sent. A conviction for such a crime is a bad thing to have on your record. Prison sentences were served, suspended sentences added to that.

    You might consider the sentences lenient (I might for that matter), but it’s interesting that one of the defendants was ill-advised enough to consider his sentence too harsh.

  22. In England hanging a rasher of Bacon on a mosque door will earn you a year in jail,the guy eventually got out after 6 months unfortunately it was via a hearse.Justice must be seen to be done after all.

  23. marc,

    Exactly. As I said: “I am all for the abolishment of “hate crimes” because I think it concerns something for which legislation is ill-suited to deal with, but the perception is that the law is not being applied equally or consistently across various groups.”

  24. A conviction for such a crime is a bad thing to have on your record.

    Perhaps, if you’re looking for a job in Siemens. Maybe it’s not viewed quite so harshly in other circles though.

  25. BiG:

    “I don’t think there are any “ordinary” Jews in Germany, they are all descendants of people who had reason to come back after the war”

    Yeah, like about 50 years after the war — the economic devastation of the collapsed Soviet empire coupled with the generous German welfare programs being some strong reasons.

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