The lack of German grassroots opposition to the alleged antisemitism of the former frontman for the British band Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, was on display over the last few days.
Waters, who has waged a global campaign to advance a comprehensive boycott against Israel, recently scored a legal victory in a German court, permitting him to perform in Frankfurt. His concerts unfolded in Cologne and Hamburg, and he is slated to perform in Munich and Berlin as well.
In a deeply insightful analysis on the website of the Vienna-based think tank Mena-Watch, the German journalist and expert on modern antisemitism, Alex Feuerherdt, wrote an article titled "No place for antisemitism? Unfortunately yes." He noted, "Unfortunately, it has to be said clearly: Rogers Waters won, and clearly. He won because they let him win."
Feuerherdt said Waters' six concerts will all take place "and the public protest is small, much smaller, than the number of concert-goers."
For Germany - whose raison d'état in its post-Holocaust society is supposed to be "Never Again" about the Shoah and "Nip it in the bud" when antisemitism surfaces - the breathtaking indifference of German concert-goers to Waters' Jew-hatred caused distress.
Take the example of the protest against Waters in Cologne. A mere 250 demonstrators showed up while over 10,000 attended Waters' concert. The motto of the protest targeting Waters "Wish you were not here" was a play on the popular Pink Floyd song "Wish you were here."
Feuerherdt highlighted the disgraceful attendance at the protest, noting that the "parties and organizations... had not even managed to mobilize their own members on any significant scale."
The cognitive dissonance of Cologne's municipality was also on display. Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker spoke at the event against Waters, but the city-owned Cologne-Tourism GmbH advertised for Waters' concert.
Reker tweeted about Water's appearance: "There is no place for antisemitism in Cologne," adding, "We don't tolerate antisemitism."
Abraham Lehrer, vice president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany and who is a member of the executive board of the Jewish community of Cologne, has failed over the years to build an organizational model within the over 4,000-member Cologne community. Sadly, all of this helps to explain why the overwhelming majority of members of the Cologne Jewish community did not turn out for the protest.
Volker Beck, the controversial president of the German-Israel Friendship Association (DIG) and a Green party politician, has made no genuine effort to mobilize the over 6,000 members of the DIG. The DIG opposes the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement (BDS) and seeks to advance German-Israeli relations. Lawmakers of Israel's Likud party Amichai Chikli and Ariel Kallner have slammed Beck for his alleged anti-Zionist tendencies.
Waters performed for nearly 7,000 people in Hamburg. There was not one street protest against his alleged antisemitism in the harbor city.
The paltry turnout in Cologne and Hamburg is not limited to the failures of Lehrer and Beck to build an organizing model among members. In Berlin in 2018, roughly 1,600 pro-Iranian regime and Hezbollah supporters demonstrated for the obliteration of Israel at the annual Al Quds Day event. A pro-Israel counter-protest paled in comparison, numbering several hundred. Berlin has Germany's largest regional community, with a membership of over 8,000 Jews as of 2021.
Internal contradictions within the DIG and the German Jewish communities will continue to hamper their efforts to have any semblance of an independent policy and activist organizational structure. The German Foreign Ministry is the main funder of the DIG. Germany's government subsidizes the Central Council of Jews and its member communities.
In late March, a conference in Berlin titled "Actions Matter" published a "10-Point Action Plan to fight antisemitism."
The ten-point plan omits a call to action for Germany's government to take the lead in outlawing the Iranian regime's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The IRGC has planned an assassination attempt and surveillance activities in Germany against Jews and Israelis. The U.S. classified the IRGC as a foreign terror organization in 2019.
Last year, a German investigator said about the alleged IRGC attacks on synagogues: "We are talking here about state-sponsored terrorism" with respect to firing shots at a synagogue and attempted arson attacks on synagogues.
Sweden's parliament, in sharp contrast to the German Bundestag's refusal to proscribe the IRGC as a terrorist entity, designated the IRGC a terror entity.
The tiny and highly disorganized pro-Israel community in Germany is largely busy with holding conferences, workshops, and publishing studies that have no tangible link to building a pro-Israel mini-movement in the Federal Republic.
Pro-Israel activists and most German Jews are desperately searching for ways to oppose the pro-Iran regime and anti-Israeli policies of Chancellor Olaf Scholz's coalition government.
The small pro-Israel community and the nearly 92,000 members of the German Jewish community could internalize lessons from the British Jewish community's activism in its successful campaign that defeated the former antisemitic Labor Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, in 2019.
The German Jewish community has largely outsourced its security and self-determination, in contrast to Britain's Jewish leadership, to bureaucrats, a number of whom are involved in stoking antisemitism or are deeply incompetent.
The prominent human rights organization Simon Wiesenthal Center listed Michael Blume - who is tasked with combating antisemitism in the southwestern German state of Baden-Württemberg - as the seventh worst outbreak of antisemitism in 2021 for comparing Israelis with Nazis and promoting anti-Jewish conspiratorial social media activities.
The Wiesenthal Center also urged the former German protestant Bishop, Gerhard Ulrich, to resign as the commissioner assigned to fighting antisemitism in the northern German state Schleswig-Holstein due to his Christian sermons laced with modern Jew-hatred targeting Israel.
To counter the proliferation of modern antisemitism in Germany, an organizing model can breathe fire and life into a fractured system of pro-Israel activity that is limping on both legs.
Benjamin Weinthal, a Middle East Forum writing fellow, reports on Israel, Iran, Syria, Turkey and Europe for Fox News Digital. Follow him on Twitter at @BenWeinthal.