Opinion | How Germany became bad

A worthy undertaking, to be sure. But the government’s habit of confusing criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism has had some disturbing effects. In particular, it has created an atmosphere in which the defense of Palestinian rights or the ceasefire in Gaza are seen as suspect, in conflict with the state-imposed position. The police, for example, did this destroyed on pro-Palestinian protests in several cities and has openly banned numerous demonstrations.

The cultural sector has also been the scene of far-reaching acts of censorship. The Frankfurt Book Fair canceled an awards ceremony for the Palestinian writer Adania Shibli and for the Berlin Senate cut funding for a cultural center because it refused to cancel an event organized by the left-wing group Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East. In this sulphurous atmosphere, the office of Jian Omara Berlin parliamentarian of Kurdish-Syrian origins was attacked, as part of a broader trend of intimidation aimed at the country’s Muslims.

This is all quite worrying. But politicians take advantage of it some tests of anti-Semitic demonstrations during pro-Palestinian protests to link Muslims and migrants to anti-Semitism, they took the opportunity to advance an anti-migrant agenda. When Mr. Scholz was asked about anti-Semitism among people “with Arab roots” in an interview from October, said Germany must establish more precisely who can enter the country and who cannot. “We are limiting irregular immigration,” Scholz said, before adding shortly after: “We must finally deport on a large scale.”

Many other high-ranking politicians have also insisted on the need for tighter border controls in the aftermath of 7 October. Friedrich Merz, leader of the opposition Christian Democrats, spoke out against accepting refugees from Gaza, arguing that Germany has alreadyenough young anti-Semites in the country.” Christian Lindner, finance minister and head of the centre-right Free Democratic Party, called for a fundamental change in immigration policy to “reduce the attractiveness of the German welfare state”.

Mr. Lindner soon got what he wanted. In early November, after months of intense discussions, the federal government and 16 state governors reached an agreement more severe measures to contain the number of migrants entering the country. Asylum seekers now receive less money and have to wait twice as long to get social assistance, taking even more autonomy away from their lives. According to new planGermany will also expand border controls, speed up asylum procedures and explore the idea of ​​relocating asylum centres.