Germany’s Jews call for protection amid Israel-Palestinian clashes

Germany's Jewish community on Wednesday urged the country to ramp up protection after Israeli flags were burnt in front of synagogues amid escalating Israeli-Palestinian violence.

Germany's Jews call for protection amid Israel-Palestinian clashes
A police car outside a synagogue in Bonn on Wednesday. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Oliver Berg

Police arrested 16 people in two separate incidents at synagogues in the cities of Bonn and Münster, where Israeli flags were set on fire late Tuesday.

Josef Schuster, president of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, blamed Hamas for the escalating conflict in Israel and said tensions were spilling over.

“Israel and Jews as a whole are subjected to hatred and incitement, particularly on social media. The threat to the Jewish community is growing,” he said.

Pointing to the flag-burning incidents, he said “the protection of Jewish institutions must be raised”.

“We expect from the people in Germany solidarity with Israel and the Jewish community,” added Schuster.

READ ALSO: Merkel ‘shamed’ by growing anti-Semitism in Germany

Anti-Semitic crimes have risen steadily in Germany in recent years, with 2,032 offences recorded in 2019, up 13 percent on the previous year, according to government figures.

A German court in December handed down a life sentence to the assailant behind a deadly far-right attack last year that nearly became the country’s worst anti-Semitic atrocity since World War II.

After failing to storm a synagogue, the gunman shot dead a female passer-by and a man at a kebab shop.

Member comments

  1. All this started with Israel taking over Palestinian housines , butally forcing the occupants out.
    How would one feel if one got turved out of your own house.

    Isreal must stop this.

    Hamas tends to overeact which is not exactly helpful either.

    Perhaps Trumps disasterous Irael policy is probably the root cause of this.

  2. German Jews are not responsible for the actions of the state of Israel, and should not be threatened or have Israeli flags burned in front of synagogues. That is blatant antisemitism.

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Former Israeli soldier attacked on Berlin street

A former Israeli soldier was attacked in the German capital Berlin, police said Saturday, with one or several unknown assailants spraying him with an irritant and throwing him to the ground.

Former Israeli soldier attacked on Berlin street
Israeli soldiers on operation near the Gaza Strip. Photo: dpa | Ilia Yefimovich

The 29-year-old was wearing a top with the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) logo when the attackers started harassing him on Friday about his religion, the police added, calling it “an anti-Semitic attack”.

Officers are seeking the assailants, who fled immediately after the attack, on suspicion of a politically-motivated crime.

Saturday is the second anniversary of an attack by a far-right gunman on a synagogue in the eastern German city of Halle, who killed two in a rampage when he failed to break into the house of worship.

It was one of a string of incidents that led authorities to declare the far right and neo-Nazis Germany’s top security threat.

Also this week, a musician claimed he was turned away from a hotel in eastern city Leipzig for wearing a Star-of-David pendant.

While the allegations prompted a fierce response from a Jewish community unsettled by increasing anti-Semitic crimes, several investigations have been mounted into contradictory accounts of the incident.

In 2019, police recorded 2,032 anti-Semitic crimes, an increase of 13 percent year-on-year.

“The threat is complex and comes from different directions” from jihadists to the far right, the federal government’s commissioner for the fight against anti-Semitism Felix Klein said recently.