Pro-Israel media watchers have been analyzing the anti-Israel bias in a variety of foreign media for a long period of time. Yet in their most extreme fantasies they could not have dreamt up the recent disclosures in Germany regarding another form of bias. It was revealed that media, police and politicians acted in collusion to suppress important news items involving Muslim migrant criminality.
These disclosures came in the aftermath of the massive New Year’s Eve sex assaults by refugees from Muslim countries on women in a number of German cities as well as in other European countries. Initially the national identity of the attackers was withheld, as well as information on mass assaults in two other German cities, Bielefeld and Dortmund.
It took more than a week for the media to report that up to 500 immigrants had also taken part in riots and aggression against women, storming a nightclub in Bielefeld. In Dortmund there were reports of a threatening mob of about 300 people of foreign appearance. Additional incidents of harassment on a smaller scale were reported in other German cities including Munich, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf and Berlin.
In these cases, the information was hidden for a relatively short time. This pales in comparison with later disclosures of deliberate suppression of important information over much longer periods of time. On 16 January the police in Dusseldorf conducted a massive raid in the town’s mainly North African Maghreb quarter. The large number of criminals in that neighborhood has been known for a long time. The police began their analysis and investigation, code-named Casablanca, in June 2014. By November 2015 over 2200 young North African suspects had been identified. They had committed almost 4000 crimes, including approximately 1300 thefts.
One wonders how the police in a European democracy were able to hide information about so many criminals for a year and a half. Such a lengthy period of time could perhaps be required in acting against drug smugglers in a Latin American jungle. Dusseldorf, the capital of the federal state of North Rhine Westphalia, is located in Western Europe’s largest democracy. If one Googles the Casablanca project one finds no mention of it in 2014 or 2015. What did the local media know and how complicit were they in hiding the information?
It also became known that as early as October 2014, leading politicians in North Rhine Westphalia were informed about crimes by groups of North African refugees. These concerned large-scale thefts, drunkenness, sexual harrassment of women and use of violence. This was reported in a protocol that month by the state‘s commission for internal affairs. In order not to cause unrest among the population the information was not made public.
This policy, hiding the truth from the public, received support from all the parties across the commission's political spectrum. There are many indications of collusion in the way migrant crimes in Germany have been shrouded in silence. In this case however there is proof of a major political conspiracy.
Lothar Hegemann, a veteran Christian Democrat member of the North Rhine Westphalia parliament, said that after Cologne "for the first time in years one can speak there openly about crimes committed by foreigners, without being immediately insulted and called a rightist." Such expressions are still generally perceived as being evil, even over seventy years after the war.
Claudia Zimmerman, a freelancer working with the leading WDR broadcasting service, told a Dutch radio talk-show host that WDR editors had been instructed to report positive news about refugees only, in order to support the Merkel government's policies. She added that this should not be surprising as "we are a public broadcaster. We are paid with tax money. That means that we have to express the opinion of the government and not that of the opposition."
She remarked that this policy was instituted in the initial months of what has been termed 'the welcome culture.' Zimmerman added that this has changed since the massive sexual assaults and thefts in Cologne, and that now critical voices were also acceptable. The WDR denied these allegations, and Zimmerman then withdrew her comments, stating that she had talked "total nonsense" due to the pressure of being on a live talk show.
Scandal nowadays heaps upon scandal. A policeman told Germany’s largest daily Bild that he had made out only one warrant against a German citizen in recent months. All others concerned refugees. He had also been instructed not to enforce arrest, and to allow refugees to run away. A senior police official in Frankfurt am Main said that "there are instructions from the police board of directors not to report publicly crimes committed by refugees. Answers should be given to the media only in response to specific questions."
This conspiracy of silence on the part of officials and media was motivated by concerns that if the facts about major criminality of refugees from Muslim countries became known, this would reinforce right wing groups. However, it was this prolonged, large-scale "sound of silence" that made the unprecedented criminality of the New Year’s Eve assaults possible.
After the Cologne events, many additional cases of suspected crimes by refugees within a few days came to light in mainstream media reports. Three Syrians were accused of having harassed and perhaps raped two girls in a swimming pool in Munich. Christian refugees were violently attacked by Muslims. The daily die Welt wrote that several Turkish and Arab security personnel, not content just to look the other way, even joined in the beatings of victims. There are reports of additional attacks in Dortmund, one of which concerns stoning of two transvestites by a group of Arabs. In Flensburg five girls between 14 and 16 were sexually harassed in a swimming pool by five young Afghans. A women and two girls were harassed by an Afghan in a Hannover swimming pool. This is just a small selection. The media reports are constantly being updated with new incidents, and could well be signed off with the words: more to follow.
Israeli policy makers can draw many lessons from all this. The first is the demonstration of how the media in a major democratic country can suppress crucial news items on an important issue over a long time. This form of bias is a perfect fit for the regular omission on the part of the media regarding the publicly declared genocidal intentions of Hamas, the Palestinians largest party, and the many other crimes perpetrated by Palestinians.
The second lesson offers a ready response the next time EU representatives reproach Israel for so-called problems with its democracy. One can refer them to the collusion of police, press and media in Europe's largest democracy, in furthering a conspiracy of silence in all that concerns significant criminality among refugees. As a result of this silence, the rule of law has been bent strongly in the favor of the criminals.
Yet the sound of silence is only one aspect of the many troublesome issues in Germany which have come so strongly to the fore, less than one month into the new year of 2016. Here I too must sign off with the words: much more to follow.