Rhineland-Palatinate Antisemitism Commissioner position politically strengthened

The Parliament of Rhineland-Palatinate has strengthened the position of antisemitism commissioners with a legally anchored right to information vis-à-vis authorities.

With the votes of all six parliamentary groups, the state parliament passed the state government’s bill in Mainz after second deliberation.

It is alarming that conspiracy narratives with antisemitic content are becoming increasingly popular, said Josef Winkler, a member of parliament for the Greens.

“The legal upgrading of the office would also strengthen it politically. Much more must be done to “ensure that those who target Jews have no place in our country”, according to CDU parliamentary group leader Christian Baldauf.

Until now, it had not been possible for authorities to respond to enquiries from the Commissioner for Jewish Life and Antisemitism Issues due to a lack of legal basis, said Justice Minister Herbert Mertin (FDP).

Now the position of the commissioner would also be strengthened with a right to inspect files.

Monika Fuhr has been the state’s second antisemitism commissioner since April 2022.

Her predecessor Dieter Burgard created a reporting centre for anti-human, racist and antisemitic incidents.

A documentation and coordination centre for antisemitism was also established at the Rhineland-Palatinate Office for the Protection of the Constitution.

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