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Signal of the Rule of Law

This article first appeared in Jüdische Allgemeine.

It is often said that antisemitism has no place in Germany. Nevertheless, antisemitic sentiments and Holocaust relativization are frequently evident, especially in the past year. This hatred against Jews is usually expressed subtly or using codes, so that it is not immediately recognizable.

Not the case with the “International Goyim Party”, whose antisemitism and far-right extremist ideology are unmistakable. Its members blatantly propagate destructive fantasies with slogans like, “Final solution now!” or “We Goyim must exterminate the Jews”. Their symbol bears obvious similarity to a swastika. The self-designated term “Party” is misleading. In fact, it is an international network, active in the digital arena.

Two alleged founders and one member of the organization will now stand trial before the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf for suspected membership in a right-wing extremist criminal association. They are accused of spreading pro-Nazi, antisemitic, and hate-inciting content.

The federal prosecutor’s office, which normally pursues right-wing extremists in the terrorist context, has taken over the case, indicating that the potential threat has been correctly assessed as high.

Several aspects of this case have gone well: The rapidly initiated criminal prosecution was accompanied by consistent actions by the social media platforms. The case demonstrates once again that key figures of far-right extremism are not lone perpetrators, and their actions are not restricted by national borders.

It is the responsibility of government, justice, and intelligence agencies to keep careful watch on these people and structures, in order to appropriately react to the potential threat that they pose. The trial should also be used to reveal international affiliations. The verdict should clearly emphasize that their hate propaganda is not a mere trivial issue in the virtual world. It aims to legitimize violence and invokes destruction.

If we, as a society, want to defeat antisemitism, then we cannot afford to hesitate when dealing with such an aggressive case of hatred against Jews. The “Goyim Party” has clearly crossed every line, and the verdict must send an equally decisive signal of the rule of law

Mona Flaskamp is Assistant Director for Political Affairs at AJC Berlin.