A Dangerous Lie for Jews in Germany

German rock musician Gil Ofarim (left) enters a courtroom in Leipzig with one of his lawyers on November 28.
Hendrik Schmidt/picture alliance via Getty Images

A Dangerous Lie for Jews in Germany

False accusations of anti-Semitism may encourage real anti-Semitism.

It’s perhaps the worst lie that could have been uttered and exposed during the present conditions for Jews in Germany. On November 28, German-Jewish musician Gil Ofarim admitted to lying about an experience he had two years earlier at the Westin luxury hotel in Leipzig, Germany. At the time, he claimed to have been refused service for wearing a Star of David necklace.

The story seemed believable. In 2021, anti-Semitism was visibly on the rise in Germany, with numerous well-documented horrific cases.

Not all Germans exhibit anti-Jewish hatred. Many have tried hard to make Jews feel welcome. Still, many, including myself, believed Ofarim’s 2021 account.

His recent admission is explosive, as the German government’s anti-Semitism commissioner, Felix Klein, explained:

Gil Ofarim has admitted in court that he wrongly accused a hotel employee of hostility towards Jews. For almost two years, he maintained this false accusation and thus allowed a man to be groundlessly accused and suffer as a result. At the same time, he encouraged hatred of Jews with his behavior and caused serious damage to the fight against anti-Semitism in Germany.

What Ofarim did is exactly what a minority in Germany are accusing Jews of: They claim Jews have too much influence in Germany or work in a dishonest way to get what they want. Surveys have repeatedly shown this is a common sentiment in Germany. But usually only a single-digit percentage agrees wholeheartedly with the anti-Jewish sentiments.

A case like this has domestic and international consequences. False accusations of anti-Semitism may encourage real anti-Semitism.

Officially, the German government is committed to ensuring Israel’s right to exist. This promise is repeated over and again with a reference to Germany’s guilt for the Holocaust. But more and more Germans see this self-imposed obligation as unjust. Of course, a minority denies the Holocaust and even praises the slaughter of Jews. But a much larger percentage believes that even though Germany committed the greatest genocide of Jews, it has no responsibility to safeguard their lives.

As a recent survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of Welt am Sonntag shows, only 43 percent of respondents agree with the statement: “In light of the history of National Socialism, Germany still has a special responsibility for the Jewish people today.” Forty-two percent disagreed.

All the media reports that claim Israel is unjustly suppressing the people of Gaza fuel distrust toward Middle Eastern Jews. Why should we protect a people who is committing genocide against its neighbor?

What we see domestically in Germany and internationally right now is an explosive mixture.

Germans have had enough of being held accountable for what their grandfathers or great-grandfathers did. Many also have had enough of being accused of anti-Semitism because of what Adolf Hitler did. They feel wrongfully accused.

Yet anti-Semitism remains a problem in Germany. As Tagesspiegel noted on October 23, “Studies show that anti-Semitism is widespread in certain migrant circles—just as it is in right-wing extremist circles.” Germany tolerates and spreads anti-Semitism. Despite token resistance, the hatred has prevailed.

The Bible reveals the Jews lost God’s protection because they rejected His laws. Given their history with God, He holds them more accountable. But God does not hate Jews. The world’s vile hatred is motivated by Satan, who has deceived the whole world (Revelation 12:9). This subject is explained in our article “The One Minority Society Loves to Hate.”

God does reveal He will punish His people through Assyria, modern-day Germany. “O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation” (Isaiah 10:5). (For a full explanation of who the modern-day Assyrians are and how this punishment will come about, request a free copy of Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.)

Expect hatred toward Jews to grow. But realize God hasn’t left us without hope. Hosea 6:1 reveals the wonderful outcome of these prophecies. Those who come out of this prophesied punishment will say, “Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.”