Jewish groups have sharply criticized the German government for setting up a commission on anti-Semitism without including a single Jew.
Germany’s interior ministry set up a group of experts last year to help boost Jewish life in Germany amid concerns of rising anti-Semitism. The group consists of eight people, mainly academics, who are expected to submit a report within the next two years to be discussed in the parliament, Reuters reported.
Julius H. Schoeps, founding director of the Moses Mendelssohn Center for European-Jewish Studies in Potsdam, on Tuesday called it “a unique scandal” that no one among the experts has a Jewish background.
“German lawmakers and the Interior Minister must ask themselves why … clearly no value is placed on experts from Jewish organizations and communities,” he said in a statement obtained by Reuters.
A spokeswoman for Germany’s Interior Ministry told The Associated Press that the religious affiliations of experts on the commission was not a criterion in their selection process. She said, however, that the commission would listen to various Jewish groups during the fact-finding process.
Still, the American Jewish Committee (AJC), Moses Mendelssohn Center and Amadeu Antonio Foundation said they have no choice but to set up their own commission.
“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 from the Amadeu Antonio Foundation, AP reported.
“At a time when Jewish institutions need more protection after numerous terror attacks and anti-Semitic views are rife in schools and in society, we need more instruments and … an ongoing debate on the topic,” added Deidre Berger, director of the AJC Berlin Ramer Institute for German-Jewish Relations, Reuters reported.
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