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October 18, 2019

German interior minister announces plan to combat antisemitism

Source: algemeiner
Horst Seehoffer 
Germany’s interior minister announced a new six-point plan to combat antisemitism on Thursday, as the country continued to reel from last week’s attempted massacre by a far-right terrorist of worshipers at a synagogue in Halle during Yom Kippur services.

Speaking to the federal parliament, the Bundestag, Interior Minister Horst Seehoffer acknowledged that “antisemitism is anchored in parts of our society.” His plan includes an obligation to report hate speech on the internet, bans on extremist political groups, a stricter weapons law and more prevention work by the authorities.

In his remarks, Seehofer spoke of “individual perpetrators” who “build up their frustration outside the public sphere without initially recognizable connections to anyone.” This was a new challenge for the authorities because it was no longer enough to observe an extremist party, he said.

In his remarks, Seehofer spoke of “individual perpetrators” who “build up their frustration outside the public sphere without initially recognizable connections to anyone.” This was a new challenge for the authorities because it was no longer enough to observe an extremist party, he said.

Interior ministers' plan

Seehofer and his colleagues released a 10-point plan for addressing extremism on Friday.

· Identify networks, individuals: Coordinate federal and state intelligence and develop a strategy for observing and addressing potential far-right terror cells online and offline.

· Expand cooperation: Allow police and intelligence to work more closely to share arrest information and coordinate activities as part of a task force against right-wing extremism.

· Protect synagogues: Have officials liaise with Jewish representatives to secure places of worship, including posting officers outside, as is the case in many cities across Germany.

· Utilize bans on associations: Enforce existing prohibitions on organizations whose philosophies and/or actions run contrary to German law, and identify new groups to target with such measures.

· Prohibit extremist events: Identify sporting gatherings, concerts and cultural affairs that are primarily cover for far-right and anti-Semitic networking and celebration, and prevent them from occurring.

· Legal flexibility: Adapt laws to monitor and disrupt extremist communications; require networks and platforms to delete illegal content and host servers in the EU; evaluate hate speech and weapons prohibitions.

· Ensure adequate resources: Federal and state governments should allocate all within their means to law enforcement and intelligence to prevent further anti-Semitic attacks.

· Expedite cases: Handle investigations of anti-Semitic crime as quickly as possible, and initiate without delay a requirement for platforms to report prohibited content.

· Targeted prevention: Launch de-radicalization programs developed in cooperation with Jewish groups.

· No extremism in public service: Identify far-right members of government agencies, as well as intelligence, law enforcement and the military.