The fact that the Hamburg public prosecutor’s office pushed aside the political motive in the attack in front of the synagogue is questionable – but not surprising.
The conclusion of the investigation by the Hamburg public prosecutor into the attack in front of the synagogue last October is sobering. It is not understandable that a political motive, namely an anti-Semitic motive, is being pushed aside.
The suspect may be sick, yes. But the hatred of Jews, which did indeed manifest itself, does not arise from illness, but from social discourse. They take place in the media, in personal exchange – and on the Internet. There the discourse about Jews as an enemy is virulent. It is picked up by people and actions follow – whether in Halle, Hamburg or Vienna.
The alleged perpetrator did not develop hatred of an arbitrarily chosen group of people. This hatred is not evenly distributed among the social groups, it is not accidental. It is therefore questionable that the public prosecutor – regardless of the mental illness – ignores this fact.
But if you ignore the social background of such an act, the signal from the investigation result is: it could have hit Jews or old, white men – depending on what causes an individual mental illness.
As with previous trials for anti-Semitic acts, it is therefore not to be expected that the political socialization of the perpetrator will be widely discussed in the upcoming trial. It would be a visible, concrete action by the state that it really takes anti-Semitism seriously.
In addition, the results of the investigation show, whether intentionally or not, people who suffer from a mental illness as particularly dangerous and in this way stigmatize them. But why should the presence of a mental illness – millions of other people have it too – explain why someone is targeting Jews? Just so as not to have to talk about anti-Semitism? That would be nothing new.