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Anti-Semitic terror in Halle: EU pushes for better protection of synagogues


After the Halle terrorist act, the EU anti-Semitism commissioner demanded more protection for Jewish institutions in Europe. German leaders joined in - and demand more powers for security agencies.

After Halle's anti-Semitic attack, calls for better protection of synagogues are increasing.

The EU anti-Semitism commissioner Katharina von Schnurbein called on all EU states to protect Jewish institutions adequately and to finance the security measures.

Schnurbein told Spark News that a number of states have "catching up" to protect synagogues. In some cases, Jewish communities would have to spend 50 percent of their budget on security measures. "The security of Jewish communities is the responsibility and responsibility of each state," Schnurbein warned in a letter to all EU members.

Also CDU chief Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer called for better protection. She said the "Tagesspiegel", Jewish institutions would have to "enjoy absolute protection" in Germany. Therefore it had to be clarified "why the synagogue in Halle did not have this protection on this high Jewish holiday".

So unevenly does Germany protect its synagogues

Stop in Halle How safe are Jewish institutions in Germany?

In addition, right-wing extremist, anti-Semitic and Islamist networks would have to be smashed, according to Kramp-Karrenbauer. For this, security agencies and intelligence agencies would have to get the right tools in their hands "such as longer DNA retention periods, so that traces for the elucidation of serious crimes are not lost," said Kramp-Karrenbauer. The "extreme right-wing, anti-Semitic terrorist attack of Halle" required the full rigor of the constitutional state.

According to previous findings, the alleged assassin should not have previously noticed with other criminal acts. Although it is known that there are around 24,000 right-wing extremists in Germany, half of them violent, apparently no security organ had "on the screen within the framework of the normal system," said Saxony-Anhalt Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff (CDU) on the ZDF broadcast "Maybrit Illner". Therefore, it needs new techniques, more international cooperation and a review of its own legal framework to be able to exclude similar cases in the future.

Federal Minister of Justice Christine Lambrecht (SPD) also called for a more consistent rule of law and better protection of Jewish communities. Politicians, the judiciary and security agencies must commit themselves "to better protect Jewish citizens in this country", she said on Thursday evening the ARD "Tagesesthemen".

Tougher penalties for anti-Semitic offenses demanded

Lambrecht also acknowledged failures of the security authorities in the fight against right-wing extremism. "I believe that we have not seen much of this country in this drama, in this meaning and that it is all the more important to act now energetically, decisively and consistently as a rule of law."

Matthias Balk / DPA

Sign of solidarity in front of the Ohel Jakob Synagogue on Jakobsplatz in Munich

In this context, the anti-Semitism commissioner of the Federal Government, Felix Klein, called for a tightening of criminal law for decidedly anti-Semitic acts. Paragraph 46 of the Criminal Code, according to which "racist, xenophobic or other inhuman" motives in the assessment of the sentence are particularly taken into account, must be extended to the word "anti-Semitic", he told the newspapers of the editorial network Germany.

North Rhine-Westphalia has already strengthened the protection of Jewish institutions, according to a report of the "Rheinische Post". The number of Jewish institutions guarded by the police around the clock is now raised from three to 26. These include synagogues, Jewish parish and elderly centers as well as Jewish day care centers. The remaining 41 Jewish objects of protection in NRW would therefore regularly be observed by police patrols. (Read here how other states protect Jewish institutions.)

The attack of a right-wing extremist on the synagogue in Halle had triggered horror in Germany and internationally. The investigating judge at the Federal Court issued arrest warrant for the suspect on Thursday evening and ordered U-Haft.

According to investigators wanted the 27-year-old in the synagogue on Jewish holiday Yom Kippur a "massacre" cause. But he did not succeed in penetrating the church. He then shot a woman and a man.

Source: spiegel

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