Included in these enlightened ranks we can now add a German jurist from the city of Wuppertal. Last week, the judge convicted two German-Palestinian men of a attempted serious arson against a synagogue in the city, along with a juvenile accomplice. But in his ruling, the wise man of the law declared that the crime was motivated not by anti-Semitism, but instead by a desire to “bring attention to the Gaza conflict.”

The torching occurred on July 29, in the midst of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, a 50-day armed conflict waged in response to Hamas rocket attacks. A few days before the firebombing, “Free Palestine” had been scrawled on the synagogue walls.

This was not the first time, of course, that people had tried to burn down the synagogue in Wuppertal. It was destroyed during the Kristallnacht pogrom of 1938. According to the logic of the judge, the Jews of yesteryear must have had it coming, too. Perhaps if so many of them had not tried to stab Germany in the back during the First World War, the brown shirts would not have felt the need to ransack their shops and raze their houses of worship to the ground.