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August 04, 2015

Where's the Coverage: Jewish Athletes Threatened in Berlin

The European Maccabi Games—a Jewish sporting event held every four years and also open to non-Jews—took place this July in Berlin, Germany. Jewish athletes were faced with threats and intimidation that went widely unreported in most major media outlets.

According to The Jerusalem Post (“Euro Maccabi games marred by anti-Semitism in Berlin,” July 1), Berlin police noted that two “youths” hurled antisemitic insults at six Jewish men while tossing “an object” at the group, before fleeing. The incident occurred in the city’s Neukolln district, which has a large Muslim population. It was not the only case of violence and harassment apparently connected to the Maccabi Games.

“A man with an Arab background” was arrested for yelling antisemitic slurs at two security guards at the hotel housing more than 2,000 athletes and others associated with the games. The Jerusalem Post notesd that hotel is only “900 meters from the Al-Nur Mosque, a hotbed of radical Islam.”

Jewish athletes were warned about traveling in large groups in Neukolln and told not to wear “visibly Jewish items,” such as Stars of David and kippahs. It was also recommended that Jews travel in taxis and avoid “sensitive areas of Berlin”; those with high Muslim populations often hostile to Jewish people.

Many athletes—mindful of the Olympics hosted by Hitler’s Germany in 1936 Berlin—harbored high hopes for the games, The New York Times noted in its pre-event coverage (“At Maccabi Games, Jewish Athletes Vie for Medals While Mindful of Past,” July 27). As The Times noted, descendants of Jewish athletes barred from the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin were invited to “honor the past while sending a clear message about the survival of Jewish life into the present.”

Yet, while The Times covered the expectations of the games, it did not report the attacks against Jewish athletes. Many other major media outlets similarly failed to provide coverage. The Los Angeles Times alone—in a 96-word Times Wire Report item—mentioned that a “well-known” Berlin landmark was “defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti”(“World Briefing; Germany; Anti-Semitic slogan mars Wall,” Aug. 2). That landmark was a painting on a remnant of the Berlin Wall showing the Star of David in the middle of a German flag.

More detailed coverage of the targeted attacks against Jews in a city and country defaced with its own history of murderous antisemitism was largely absent from U.S. papers.

In his coverage of the attacks for ,The Jerusalem Post, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies Fellow Benjamin Weinthal noted 2014 witnessed “192 criminal acts of anti-Semitism in Berlin…..The American Jewish Committee’s Berlin office told The Post that there were additional 15 acts of violence and 70 incidents of anti-Semitic outbreaks.”

This corresponds to a 2015 study by Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center, which found a marked increase in antisemetic violence, as CAMERA has noted (“Violent antisemetic attacks up 40 percent—Where’s the Coverage,” April 21).

Violent attacks on Jews in Germany’s capital during a sporting event meant to transcend the Nazi ban on Jewish competitors in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Where’s the coverage?—Sean Durns

Posted by ER at August 4, 2015 04:59 PM

Comments

So Jews have to change their appearance to appease Muslims. Isn't that just great. How about they are allowed to arm themselves and dress as they like?

Posted by: Robert at August 6, 2015 04:41 PM

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