German report points to sharp rise in anti-Semitic violence
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German report points to sharp rise in anti-Semitic violence

Annual study by domestic intelligence agency shows attacks targeting Jews almost doubled in 2018

Picture taken June 18, 2019 shows people attending a protest ralley in Berlin, Germany, against far right violence. German police are investigating a series of threats sent to officials and institutions days after the arrest of a far-right extremist on suspicion of killing a pro-migrant politician. Slogan reads 'Stop Far Right Violence' (Christoph Soeder/dpa via AP)
Picture taken June 18, 2019 shows people attending a protest ralley in Berlin, Germany, against far right violence. German police are investigating a series of threats sent to officials and institutions days after the arrest of a far-right extremist on suspicion of killing a pro-migrant politician. Slogan reads 'Stop Far Right Violence' (Christoph Soeder/dpa via AP)

BERLIN — Germany’s domestic intelligence agency said Thursday the number of anti-Semitic acts of violence rose sharply last year alongside a further increase in those identified as far-right extremists.

The BfV agency said in its annual report that incidents of anti-Semitic violence increased by 71.4 % in 2018 to 48 from 28 the previous year.

It also said that the number of far-right extremists rose by 100 to 24,100 people last year with more than half of them potentially violent.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said “we can find in almost all areas of far-right extremism hostile attitudes toward Jews … it’s a development that we must take, very, very, very seriously.”

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer at the German parliament Bundestag in Berlin, Germany, June 27, 2019. (AP/Markus Schreiber)

He warned that migrants, Muslims and politicians were considered enemies by the far-right too.

“Anti-Semitism is not only a topic of agitation of right-wing and left-wing extremists, but also an essential element of the Islamist extremist ideology,” the report said.

Last week a Jewish American tourist in Berlin was attacked and injured in an anti-Semitic attack, a few days after two other incidents in Berlin and Dusseldorf.

In Berlin, the total number of violent and non-violent anti-Semitic incidents reported in recent months to police is about 14 percent higher than last year. One in five reported incidents has occurred in the nation’s capital, where 2018 saw a total of 1,083 cases of anti-Semitism.

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