Former head of Germany’s foreign intelligence service (BND) calls for Muslim anti-Israel protesters to be expelled from the country

An outbreak of hatred against Jews – in the middle of Germany’s streets! How should our country react to this?

Gerhard Schindler (68), head of the German foreign intelligence service BND from 2011 to 2016, is highly alarmed by the anti-Semitic marches in Gelsenkirchen and other major cities by predominantly Arab demonstrators.

“This development of the last few days is frightening and intolerable because it violates the German reason of state,” Schindler said on the tabloid BILD Live. “Flag burning, stone throwing against synagogues, anti-Semitic hate slogans on German soil are simply not compatible with our own history.”

In BILD Live, the lawyer explained why he sees a red line crossed – and why German politics must react harshly to the disgusting, openly displayed anti-Semitism on our streets.

He clarifies: “Of course, we must not play down anti-Semitism among the German population, we must not talk it down. But the anti-Semitism that we now see among migrants is a fact that we have to face.”

He added that one had to wait for the police investigations to find out who had taken part in the marches. “But the findings so far show that it is not only Palestinians who are involved.

Visible evidence: Tunisian and Turkish flags, for example at the march in front of the synagogue in Gelsenkirchen, where participants shouted “Sh… Jews”.

Schindler explained why politics must not go back to business as usual this time: “These people disregard our hospitality in two ways. On the one hand, by committing criminal offences – insulting, threatening, denying Israel’s right to exist. And in the second respect, by violating our basic socio-political consensus, namely that no anti-Semitic agitation may take place on German soil.”

This is not a trivial offence. “This affects the DNA of the German understanding of the state”.

Citizens could trust the German security authorities: “The police leadership, but also the state offices for the protection of the constitution and the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution are doing a good job.” The concepts for the protection of Jewish institutions are certainly “very up-to-date and appropriate to the current situation”.

Schindler does not share criticism of the possibly too passive behaviour of the police forces: “I think it is always difficult to want to judge the current situation on the ground from the living room or in front of the TV set.”

But one thing is clear: “The security authorities can only tackle the symptoms. The cause of this basic problem is a societal problem that everyone must address.”

What is needed now, he said, is to “fight the anti-Semitism that has taken root in our society” – specifically among young migrants. “Of course, we must not play down the anti-Semitism of the German population, not talk it down. But the anti-Semitism that we now see among migrants is a fact that we have to face.”

Schindler’s explosive demand: “It is not enough that we openly address this fact. We must also expel those who abuse our hospitality here.”

Three points are necessary in Schindler’s view:

“We need better integration of these people. They are now here, and then we also have to take care of them. BUT, said the ex-BND chief: “Those who won’t let us help them, we have to expel them from the country.”

“Secondly, we need better education, especially better adult education.”

And thirdly, Schindler expects “the Muslim associations and organisations to take on a huge responsibility”.

He expects “much more commitment” from them, such as moderating words at Friday prayers: “For me, the question is: In what percentage of German mosques has the imam called on people not to take part in anti-Israeli demonstrations? I would be very interested to know that. And I say again: I see more deficits here than hopeful approaches.”

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