‘Jew-hating, Islamophobia incomparable’

Germany’s largest Jewish community has sharply criticized the parallel drawn between anti-Semitism and Islamophobia by historian Wolfgang Benz. Maya Zehden, a spokeswoman for the 12,000-member Berlin Jewish community, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday that “Benz’s position has not changed. It is not beneficial when one compares anti-Semitism with Islamophobia.”

Benz, the first non-Jewish head of the Berlin Center for Anti-Semitism Research, has been embroiled in an international controversy since he introduced his thesis that “the fury of the new enemies of Islam parallels the older rage of anti-Semites against the Jews.” In last Monday’s edition of the Süddeutsche Zeitung, which reaches more than 1.1 million readers each day, Benz wrote an article equating anti-Semitism with hatred of Islam.

Jerusalem Post, 10 January 2010