There is shocking news this week from Germany. Three Palestinian Muslims who torched a synagogue in Wuppertal, Germany have been given suspended sentences because their actions allegedly represented a justified criticism of Israel. A regional court has upheld the decision of a lower court, also agreeing that the actions of these Muslim men were not antisemitic. And to think that this happened in Germany, a nation that still bears the shame of the Holocaust.
According to many historians, the Holocaust began on the evening of Nov. 9, 1938, known today as Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass. On that fateful night, the Nazis set Jewish synagogues on fire and vandalized Jewish businesses, all while the public stood by and did nothing. This sent a message to the Nazi leaders: We will not stop your attacks on our Jewish neighbors and friends. You have a free hand.A synagogue that was originally burned by the Nazis in 1938 is torched by Muslims in 2014, and two courts say, “Not a big deal. We understand your frustration.”
Now, Muslims torch a synagogue and the courts look on and yawn. What message does this send to the Muslim world, especially to Muslims living in Germany? And what message does this send to German Jews, especially considering that, “The original synagogue in Wuppertal was burned by Germans during the Kristallnacht pogroms in 1938.” This is absolutely chilling.