German Jewish Group Rebuked for Taking Anti-refugee Stance

While head of German Jewish council says 'sooner or later we have to set an upper limit,' pro-refugee group dismayed by suggestion to suspend human rights.

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The lettering "Refugees GO HOME" is sprayed onto a wall in Sigmaringen, southern Germany, on November 17, 2015, as some people in the background walk past the wall, which is on the side of an embankment.
The lettering "Refugees GO HOME" is sprayed onto a wall in Sigmaringen, southern Germany, on November 17, 2015.Credit: AFP

A German refugee NGO has taken to task the Central Council of Jews in Germany for advocating a tighter policy on Muslim migrants, AFP reported on Monday.

The council's president, Josef Schuster, was quoted reacting to Chancellor Angela Merkel's open-door policy toward asylum seekers who have fled Syria's civil war and other Middle East countries in turmoil.

"Sooner or later we won't have a choice but to set an upper limit," 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."

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

Pro-Asyl, the refugee advocacy group, expressed its dismay that the Jewish council would be on the same side of this issue as the CSU, a conservative party in Bavaria, according to AFP.

"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," said Pro Asyl's head Guenter Burkhardt.

According to AFP, Burkhardt, stressed article 33 of the 1951 Geneva Refugee Convention, which states: "No Contracting State shall expel or return ('refouler') a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion."