German lawmakers vote to install anti-Semitism commissioner

January 18, 2018 GMT

BERLIN (AP) — German lawmakers have voted to install a commissioner who would coordinate government activities against anti-Semitism.

The lower house approved by a wide majority Thursday a motion proposed by four of the six parliamentary groups to install the official, who would be chosen by independent experts. The center-left Social Democrats called for the commissioner to be installed at the chancellery.

The decision follows a recommendation by a panel of experts and comes amid concern over anti-Semitic incidents during recent pro-Palestinian protests.

Volker Kauder, the parliamentary leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Union bloc, told lawmakers that far-right motives are behind the bulk of anti-Semitic crimes but there’s been a rising number of acts by migrants. He said “we must not allow either of these things.”