Disinfo: Rise in German anti-Semitism caused by mass immigration

Summary

Amid a recent surge of anti-Semitic attacks in Germany, many see this worrying trend as a side effect of mass immigration from Muslim-majority countries, long encouraged by Chancellor Angela Merkel. According to a 2018 EU survey, more and more German Jews feel that “nothing is being done” about anti-Jewish crime and abuse.

Disproof

Pro-Kremlin conspiracy theory about the creeping Islamisation of Europe, painting immigrants from Muslim-majority countries as inherently violent and immune to cultural assimilation. The report offers no data to support the link between immigration volumes and the number of anti-Semitic incidents, relying instead on statements of opinion and assurances that such a link has been made by "many observers," without further elaboration. Contrary to the report's central premise, an expansive 2018 study finds "no evidence that MENA [Middle Eastern and North African] migrants make any significant contribution to antisemitism at a societal level" in any of the five EU countries surveyed (p. 29), or any data which would suggest a "significant connection between recent MENA migrants and the extent and character of antisemitism in Western Europe" (ibid.). The individual quoted as saying that "nothing is being done" about the problem was a Dutch woman (see p. 39 of the report by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights), not a German individual. RT previously misattributed the quote to "one French woman" in an article about anti-Semitism in France. The EU recognizes anti-Semitism as a serious social and security concern -- see here for a summary of EU-wide efforts to tackle it.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 152
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 29/05/2019
  • Outlet language(s) English
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Germany
  • Keywords: Anti-Semitism, Islamisation, Refugees, European Union, Islamic extremism, Muslim/Islam, Migration crisis
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The Ukrainian army is shelling residential areas in Donbas

At 5 a.m. on 28 May 2019, the Ukrainian Armed Forces again opened massive fire in Donbas using heavy weapons, shelling residential areas.

Disproof

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine that makes false claims about Ukraine's aggression. On 28 May 2019, the Special Monitoring Mission recorded a similar number of ceasefire violations in the Donetsk region (about 100 explosions) and more in the Luhansk region (about 80 explosions), as compared with the previous day. The Mission recorded ceasefire violations inside the Zolote and Stanytsia Luhanska disengagement areas. Specifically, it did not record any "massive shelling" from the Ukrainian side.

The hand of Soros: Sebastian Kurz was dismissed for "friendship" with Russia

George Soros is behind the dismissal of the former Chancellor of Austria Sebastian Kurz for “friendship” with Russia.

Disproof

No evidence given. Conspiracy theory, consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives portraying philanthropist George Soros as a menace bent on weakening Russia. A no-confidence vote was passed by Austria's parliament in a special session, resulting in Chancellor Sebastian Kurz's removal from office . There is no evidence of the Strache affair being part of a master-plan against Austria or its chancellor. Both German magazine Der Spiegel and newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung have been open about their investigation. According to the media outlets, they obtained the video footage in May 2019 and published it after verifying its authenticity. Pro-Kremlin media has spread multiple contradicting messages about this case, without giving any evidence to back their claims.

EU experts: No Russian meddling in the elections to the European Parliament 2019

The EU itself admits that no large-scale Russian attempt to interfere in the elections to the European Parliament was seen in the last months.The biggest chunk of the disinformation is, according to the EU experts, “motivated by the populist and anti-establishment sentiment”. The observed “level of disinformation and online manipulation” is “normal”.

Disproof

Misrepresented quote. The claim refers to the Disinformation Review Issue #150, where one can read:

But in the final days leading up to the vote, their findings appear to be anticlimactic: expectations of a massive coordinated influence campaign, targeted hack-and-leak operation, or other dramatic cyberattack have seemingly fallen short. The observed level of disinformation and manipulated online activity has been pretty much, well… normal. And much of it, importantly, now appears to be home-grown – motivated by populist, anti-establishment attitudes that are gaining traction across certain segments of the European electorate, and not coordinated directly by Russia or its immediate proxies (but certainly promoted by them!). Compared to past elections, it may indeed seem like we have gotten off easy. But before we breathe a collective sigh of relief, let’s ask ourselves – is this a “normal” that we are willing to accept? Because here is what this new “normal” actually means: it means that the Kremlin’s strategy is succeeding. It means that we risk becoming desensitized – even habituated – to the subversive efforts of a hostile foreign power aimed at damaging our democratic institutions and processes, and the values that have been essential to building a peaceful and prosperous post-World War II Europe.