In order to combat anti-Semitism and to protect Jewish life, a permanent federal-state commission was set up in Berlin on Thursday. In an interview with the Jüdische Allgemeine, the Federal Government’s Commissioner for Anti-Semitism Felix Klein, said that this had been agreed by Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the minister presidents of the federal states.
The President of the Central Council of Jews, Josef Schuster, described the establishment of such a commission as an »extremely sensible step«. He went on to say: »It is good that the Commission is working to ensure that anti-Semitism is combated strictly throughout Germany, while at the same time the federal states retain their ability to take different measures in accordance with different regional requirements.«
PREVENTION The next goal of the Commission should be the development of uniform standards for training and further education of teachers and police officers as well as for the judiciary and the constitutional protection bodies of federal states, so that not only the fight against anti-Semitism but also its prevention can be improved. Schuster continued: »It is important to start the work quickly and to implement the first measures as soon as possible.«
»I consider this decision to be a milestone in the fight against anti-Semitism. It is of enormous importance,« said Felix Klein, the Federal Government Commissioner for Anti-Semitism. »The majority of all measures that come into consideration in the fight against anti-Semitism and that we must now address fall within the competence of the federal states.«
Klein expects the Commission »to develop more coherent strategies in the fight against anti-Semitism, to exchange best practice examples and also to promote new projects and ideas on a supra-regional level«. Closer cooperation between authorities at the level of the state and federal states will »decisively« strengthen the fight against anti-Semitism and the protection of Jewish life nationwide.
COMMISSIONER Apart from Klein, the members of the Commission include federal states’ commissioners and the contact persons in those federal states that do not have their own commissioners. According to Klein, he will take over the chairmanship of the commission together with a representative of the federal states. The Commission will meet for the first time in the second half of 2019.
So far the following states have officially appointed commissioners for anti-Semitism: Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Berlin, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia and Saxony.