Syrian opposition flags in Germany (file)
Syrian opposition flags in Germany (file)Reuters

The Central Council of Jews in Germany called Monday for a limit to the Syrian migrant influx, citing concerns that the mainly Muslim newcomers bring with them a culture steeped in anti-Semitism.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's government has opened the doors to Syrian migrants, and arrivals from the war-torn country and other  regions in the Middle East are expected to reach one million this year.

"Sooner or later we won't have a choice but to set an upper limit," the council's president Josef Schuster told Die Welt daily.

"Many of the refugees are fleeing the terror of the Islamic State and want to live in peace and freedom, but at the same time they come from cultures where hatred of Jews and intolerance are an integral part."

"Don't just think about the Jews, think about the equality between men and women, or dealing with homosexuals," he added.

A pro-migrant NGO group Pro Asyl lost no time in criticizing Schuster, noting that the conservative Bavarian CSU party also opposes the massive influx of migrants.

"It's disconcerting when the CSU and the Central Council of Jews are in fact demanding that we suspend the European Convention on Human Rights," claimed Pro Asyl's head Guenter Burkhardt.

He said that article 33 of the 1951 Geneva Refugee Convention bars signatory countries from sending asylum seekers back to places where their lives or freedom are threatened because of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a social group or political opinion.

The war in Syria has already been going on for over four years, but just recently large numbers of residents have begun flooding Western countries in massive throngs, creating a refugee crisis that Western governments have responded to with plans to let in tens of thousands of the migrants.

Many have raised concerns that jihadists will be able to infiltrate their numbers and launch attacks, a concern strengthened by the fact that at least one of the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists who took part in last week's Paris attacks had entered as a "refugee."

Last Tuesday, just days after the Paris attack, an apparent repeat attempt was thwarted in Germany's Hanover as bombs were found at the national stadium and a major concert hall.

AFP contributed to this report.