I just finished Ronen Steinke’s book, „Terror gegen Juden, Eine Anklage“ and sat with him for an interview for an article I am writing about him for an Israeli newspaper. Steinke talked a lot about the breach of contract between Germany’s security and judicial branches and their obligation to protect all citizens in a democracy. He talked about the craziness of his kids having to go through the same procedures that he has to go as a kid 30 years ago: the high wall with the fences around school, the police, the metal detectors, the fact that they are trained how to act in case of terror attack even before they know the alphabet. „People are telling me that it is normal, that that’s how it was and how it will be, but I am not willing to accept it. It is not normal“.
He already signed the contract for his third book when the Halle attack happened. The two previous books were about protagonist who fight against the system. Halle made him change the subject of the new book. He didn’t plan it when he started, but he became the protagonist of the new book: he announces his Judaism while visiting synagogues and Jewish institutions to check about the status of Jews in Germany in 2020.
Jews, according to the book, lost faith in the branches that supposed to protect them. The police that ask them to take care of their own security „because Jews have money“. The Judge who gave light sentences to three young people who burned the synagogue in Wuppertal because he accepted their claims that they didn’t do it because of hatred for Jews but to express their frustration with Israeli policy. Jews look at these branches as part of the problem, not as someone who can solve the problem. Their reaction is a collaboration with the criminals too, claims Steinke. Almost 2000 anti-Semitic incidents took place last year in Germany. Almost six per day. Criminologists believe that the actual number is about 10,000 incidents per year.
Jews are being blamed for capitalism and for communism. The far right claim that Jews are tainting Europe by helping to bring Muslims here, the Muslims are attacking the Jews. The mother of the Halle loser claims that he doesn’t hate Jews, just those who control the financial system. She is an ethic teacher. In the corona protests, people are walking around with yellow ribbons like the Jewish victims, while blaming the Jews in crazy conspiracies. Jewish life in Germany is under siege, claims Steinke, it’s a terror campaign. Halle was pure luck. The loser didn’t shoot the windows because he thought the state provided the Jews with bullet proof glasses, He didn’t know that the Jews even paid for the miracle door. At some point, luck will run out of time and space.
Sometimes he would like to have a decent politician that will tell him to his face: this is all we can do. We don’t have a magic pill. You either take it or leave. But he knows it won’t happen. He wonders why Germans and the German society are so emphatic toward blacks in America while being so detached to minorities within Germany, but he doesn’t understand. Maybe it’s the ocean. Maybe it’s easier when you are not the culprit.
Below is an interview with basketball coach Doc Rivers talking after the Jacob Blake shooting and the responsibility of Trump. You listen to this and exchange his words for Jews in Germany.
“It’s amazing to me why we keep loving this country and this country does not love us back.”
Doc Rivers delivers an emotional message on the police shooting of Jacob Blake. pic.twitter.com/A0T26OfsDG
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) August 26, 2020