Jewish Girl’s Murder Fuels Political Turmoil in Germany

Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, July 27, 2018

The rape and murder of a 14-year-old Jewish girl in Germany, allegedly by an Iraqi asylum seeker, has shaken the country’s Jewish community and heightened debate over the German government’s immigration policies under Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The body of the girl, Susanna Feldmann, was found June 6 after she had gone missing on May 22. Authorities said she had been raped and strangled in a gruesome killing that left her face unrecognizable. The murder suspect, Ali Bashar, a 20-year-old Iraqi, came into the country as a refugee in 2015 and was awaiting an appeal of his application for asylum that had been rejected in 2016. After the crime, Bashar and his family fled to Iraq but he was apprehended there by Kurdish security forces and brought back by German law enforcement officials to face charges.

The Jewish news agency JTA reported that although there was no evidence that anti-Semitism played a role in the crime, concerns that it had been an anti-Semitic act spread quickly on German-Jewish social media.

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