Leading German-Jewish Group, German Interior Minister Condemn Antisemitism at Pro-Palestinian Demonstrations

Police officers detain a person after riots during a protest in support of Palestinians, in Berlin, Germany, May 9, 2021. REUTERS/Christian Mang.

A leading German-Jewish group decried on Sunday the violent antisemitism seen at pro-Palestinian protests in Germany, while the country’s interior minister pledged to crack down on the problem.

The WertInitiative called the incidents “unfortunately foreseeable” and said, “It is unacceptable that we Jews are endangered in our security and have to live in fear.”

German news outlet Deutsche Welle reported that, as thousands of people joined the rallies in support of the terrorist group Hamas in its current war against Israel, Israeli flags were burned, antisemitic slurs were shouted, and calls were heard for the bombing of Tel Aviv.

Some demonstrators marched on local synagogues shrieking antisemitic slogans and threw rocks through the synagogue windows.

In response, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said, “We will not tolerate the burning of Israeli flags on German soil and attacks on Jewish facilities.”

“Anyone who spreads antisemitic hatred will feel the full force of the law,” he pledged.

The Central Council of Muslims in Germany also denounced the incidents, with its chairman Aiman Mazyek saying, “Anyone who attacks synagogues and Jews on the pretext of criticizing Israel has forfeited any right to solidarity.”

The Jewish organization WertInitiative said in a statement, “What happened today in numerous places in Germany was unfortunately foreseeable.”

“We Jews are currently experiencing a wave of hatred like we haven’t seen for a long time,” they said. “It is unacceptable that we Jews are endangered in our security and have to live in fear; it is unacceptable that we should hear things that led to the systematic extermination of European Jews during the Shoah.”

“In addition to the hatred of Jews by right-wing extremists of German origin and antisemitic images in the middle of society, we have a major task in the Muslim and migrant community,” the group said. “Integration and respect for the Basic Law also mean breaking away from learned and acquired antisemitic attitudes and finding a common togetherness.”

The group’s chairman, Dr. Elio Adler, commented, “Anyone who thinks that these marchers have ‘only’ a hatred of Jews is completely naive. These people despise our free, democratic society with its colorful diversity as well. Therefore, it should be in the best interests of the majority society to see them unequivocally opposed.”

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Author: Benjamin Kerstein

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