What should be done after the attack in Halle?
Following the terrorist attack in Halle the suspected perpetrator is in police custody. On Wednesday he shot dead a woman passing by and a man in a kebab shop after failing to force his way into the nearby synagogue where the Yom Kippur festival was being celebrated. Commentators discuss the reasons for the attack and formulate the conclusions that should be drawn by politicians.
Once again Germany is not safe for Jews
Pravda is unsurprised by the attack in Halle:
“Former Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) once said: 'The radicalisation of language leads to the radicalisation of deeds'. Warning signs from France and Belgium indicated that right-wing extremism was on the rise and that extremists were no longer afraid to use physical violence against Jews, which had been practically taboo in the post-war period. Security forces will now patrol synagogues throughout Germany. But both German and French Jews will leave their respective countries. After the attack in Halle it is clear that Germany is (once again) not a safe country for Jews.”
East German resentment breaks through
De Volkskrant finds it significant that a city in east Germany was the scene of the attack:
“From a German perspective it's worrying that the attack took place in Saxony-Anhalt, one of the new federal states. ... And that it was perpetrated by a resident of the region. This reflects the fact that Germany has yet to be properly unified. ... In the new federal states there is still a lot of resentment over the hostile takeover of which many East Germans see themselves as the victims. They feel left at a disadvantage by history and by the politicies of the Federal Republic, which - despite a chancellor who comes from East Germany - they see as a bulwark of the 'Wessis' [as citizens of former West Germany are called]. They are defending themselves against this - by electing far-right parties and taking up arms against the 'never again' ethic of the old Federal Republic.”
"Never again" no good without proper protection
The Neue Zürcher Zeitung calls for Germany to do more to protect its Jews:
“Great efforts have been made in Germany to maintain an awareness of Nazi crimes and to keep a culture of commemoration alive. The admonition 'never again' is defended by teachers and politicians on a daily basis. A large majority of Germans have probably taken the message to heart, so the problem does not seem to be sensitising people to this issue. The lesson from Halle is a different one. When Jews in Germany ask for protection, then the state must respond. That, too, is part of 'never again'.”
Right-wing extremism is becoming globalised
The crime should also be considered in an international context, the Handelsblatt writes:
“The perpetrator filmed his attack with a helmet camera and broadcast it live on the Internet. He gave a commentary on it in English, so it was clearly meant for an international audience. He obviously wanted to copy the Christchurch massacre in which a right-wing extremist forced his way into two mosques and shot dead 51 worshippers. ... The Halle attack is one of a series of right-wing extremist terrorist acts carried out recently in Western countries. Right-wing extremism is becoming globalised... .The trail of blood runs all the way from Norway to New Zealand, from El Paso, Texas, to Halle an der Saale.”
Hatred doesn't stay in the dark
Columnist Paolo Lepri examines how such an anti-Semitic act could occur in Germany:
“The institutions have done their duty in a country where remembrance has always been a warning. For this Chancellor Merkel, her special envoy for the fight against anti-Semitism, Felix Klein, and - not to be forgotten - Germany's teachers deserve credit. But it is also true that the dark sides of society were often confused with something that people thought would remain in the dark. ... It must be said that anti-Jewish sentiment has never been underestimated in Germany. But one gets the impression that suspect neo-Nazi cells and their connections with the established far right have not been tackled with the necessary resolve.”
The bloody consequences of "We can do it"
For De Telegraaf the causes lie once again in a single simple formula:
“Since 2015, in every attack reference has been made to the statement 'We can do it' with which Angela Merkel made her country the ideal refuge for refugees from Syria and elsewhere. Warnings that terrorists could also be among the refugees were pretty much ignored. ... The country also underwent a sharp shift to the right, and the extremely right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) gained substantial ground. ... The danger comes from two different sides, but both have their origins in Merkel's 'We can do it'. The chancellor's controversial legacy will continue to be discussed in Germany long after every attack.”
A diabolical combination
The threat of anti-Semitism isn't just growing in Germany, El Mundo observes:
“Anti-Semitism has increased to an alarming level in Europe, as the UN reports also show. One example is the jihadist attack on the Jewish museum in Brussels in 2014. Yesterday the Jewish community was once again the victim of another attack that left two dead in Halle. The plan was to carry out a massacre at the synagogue during the Yom Kippur festival. ... The rise in anti-Semitism and extremism is a diabolical combination that demands constant vigilance by the authorities.”