According to Federal Commissioner Felix Klein, Germany has achieved success in the fight against anti-Semitism.

Much had been achieved, said the anti-Semitism commissioner of the federal government.

The occasion was the presentation of the Federal Government's first report on the implementation status and the assessment of the recommendations for action by the Independent Expert Group on Anti-Semitism (UEA).

The report was approved by the cabinet on the same day and is to be discussed later in the Bundestag.

Klein recalled that in June the Bundestag passed a law to combat hatred and right-wing extremism, especially on the Internet.

He also referred to the new cabinet committee to combat right-wing extremism and racism.

Despite all the successes, the report shows that taking action against anti-Semitism remains a central task for politics, the security authorities, other state institutions and society as a whole, said Klein, especially since this also corresponds to the everyday experience of numerous Jews.

"There is no such thing as a harmless form of anti-Semitism," warned Klein.

Hostility towards Jews is not only to be found in right-wing, but also in left-wing and Islamist milieus and in the middle of society.

Most anti-Semitic crimes have a right-wing extremist background

In Germany, the number of anti-Jewish offenses rose to a high in 2019 with around 2,000 recorded offenses.

That year a man attacked the synagogue in Halle and killed two bystanders.

The vast majority of the crimes had a right-wing extremist background.

"Not enough has been done against Islamist anti-Semitism either."

There are projects in mosques and formats for interreligious discussions for this purpose.

In order to get a more comprehensive overview of the extent of anti-Semitic incidents, the Federal Association of Research and Information Centers Antisemitism (Rias) was founded.

Incidents can be reported there that are allegedly anti-Semitic but are not recorded as a criminal offense.

Klein announced that the report would form the basis for a national strategy against anti-Semitism.

Their development will be started in the second half of the year.

The background is an obligation of the EU member states to take measures against anti-Semitism for the security of the Jewish communities.

The Cabinet Committee on Combating Right-Wing Extremism and Racism met for the second time on Wednesday.

In addition to Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), the committee includes the Federal Ministers for the Interior, Foreign Affairs, Justice, Defense, Family and Education.

By its coming third meeting in October, the committee wants to present concrete measures to better combat racism, right-wing extremism and anti-Semitism, as announced by Vice Government Spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer.

Expert group calls for federal-state commission

That the office of the anti-Semitism commissioner was created was one of the demands of the expert group.

He also spoke out in favor of a federal-state commission.

Because a number of areas in which awareness is to be raised about the action against anti-Semitism are the responsibility of the federal states, such as schools, the judiciary and the police.

The appointment of the anti-Semitism commissioner in the federal states should also take this into account.

So far, apart from Bremen, there are official contacts everywhere who also work together in the commission.

"That is a very good development," said Klein.

He described the antisemitism competence network (Kompas) funded by him and the Ministry of Family Affairs as a breakthrough, in which "experienced civil society organizations bundle their expertise in the field of anti-Semitism prevention".

According to the report, the Commissioner has a total of one million euros a year available for projects to combat anti-Semitism and make Jewish life visible.

From this money flows into educational programs, to foundations, for the German-Israeli youth exchange and other offers for young people.

As a result of the attack on the synagogue in Halle almost a year ago, the federal government provided an additional 22 million euros as a one-off grant for 2020 for structural and technical measures to protect synagogues and other Jewish facilities.