Call for Improved Security

Berlin, 03.12.15, Jüdische Allgemeine/dpa (English translation) The AJC Berlin Ramer Institute has called for better protection for Jewish communities from terrorist attacks. In the past 15 years, according to Deidre Berger, Director of AJC Berlin, there has been a dramatic increase in anti-Semitism and terror attacks such as last seen in Paris.

December 4, 2015

The Islamic extremist terror is part of a larger agenda directed “against our liberal democracies in their entirety.” Many small- and medium-sized European Jewish communities, however, suffer from insufficient financial resources to protect their facilities.

Representatives of Jewish communities and organizations are concerned about whether the necessary political conclusions will be drawn following the Paris attacks, Berger stressed.  She added that Europe should intensify its exchange with Israel on security matters, given Israel’s decades of experience dealing with terror attacks.

The possible increase in anti-Semitism and Israel hatred that might be fueled by incoming refugees must be countered through an expansion of civic education, Berger urged. This could help to counter anti-Semitism and extremism at an early stage.

Supervision of the growing number of returning foreign fighters from Syria poses a particular challenge, Berger explained: “It must be ensured that the security agencies receive all necessary resources at their disposal for truly effective prevention of potential threats.”

To fight radicalization tendencies and extremism, it is important to augment educational initiatives against anti-Semitism, according to AJC.  Currently, representations of Israel and the Mideast conflict in school textbooks are frequently depicted in a one-sided manner, with inadequate information about the diversity of Jewish life.

In Berlin on Wednesday, more than 40 representatives from Jewish communities and organizations from 20 European countries and the United States came together for the seventh “European Forum on Antisemitism.” The discussion focused on the current security situation in the wake of the Paris attacks and the anti-Semitic terror attacks of the past year.