The head of Germany’s Jewish community has called for students who engage in antisemitic violence to be excluded from their universities.
“Anyone who strikes a Jew because they are Jewish has no business being at a German university,” said Josef Schuster, President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany.
Schuster was speaking in the wake of a brutal attack on an Israeli student in Berlin over the weekend.
Lahav Shapira, 30, was attacked by his assailant as he left a bar where he had been drinking with his girlfriend. He was rushed to hospital where he underwent surgery for non-life threatening injuries.
Schuster called on the Free University in Berlin, where Shapira is a student, to take urgent measures against antisemitism on campus.
“FU Berlin is responsible for ensuring that there is no room for extremism and antisemitism in its ranks,” he said. “The appeasement tactics and the excuses of the university management must finally come to an end. If the fight against antisemitism is taken seriously, antisemitic crimes must lead to exclusion.”
A letter from the JSUD, Germany’s Jewish student union, to Free University president Günter Ziegler following the attack on Shapira echoed Schuster’s concerns.
Citing several incidents of antisemitic agitation on campus framed around condemnation of Israel, the letter warned that there were students “who not only threaten violence, but also use it. Stop putting things into perspective or denying them. Finally take action against the antisemites!”