Hate explodes in cities from Paris to Sydney

By Shirli Sitbon, July 24, 2014
Taiwan: protesters gathered at Israeli trade mission

Taiwan: protesters gathered at Israeli trade mission

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters attacked the Jewish neighbourhood of Sarcelles, a suburb to the north of Paris, on Sunday, clashing with police who stopped them yards from a local synagogue.

The protesters burned cars, looted stores, set alight a pharmacy owned by Jews, and a kosher grocery shop. They threw firebombs, damaging a community building, and destroyed public property. .

Three hours before the violence erupted, the protest began peacefully about a mile from the Jewish quarter, at the Sarcelles railway station. Authorities had banned the event due to fears of public disorder, as well as a counter-protest planned by the Jewish Defence League.

Speakers said that Israel was committing genocide and compared the Gaza bombings to Second World War round-ups of Jews.

Organisers called on their supporters to leave the demonstration peacefully, but many headed for the Jewish neighbourhood.

Chicago: Over 1,000 demonstrated on both sides

Chicago: Over 1,000 demonstrated on both sides

Jewish Defence League members lined up outside the synagogue to prevent any attack. "We would rather protect the synagogue than protest," one of the men told the JC.

On Saturday, riot police were called in when pro-Palestinian protesters in Paris went on the rampage, torching cars and damaging public property.

The violence came a week after protesters laid siege to Roquette Street Synagogue, trapping 300 congregants.

Sammy Ghozlan, who heads the Vigilance Bureau against antisemitism, said that the Jewish community felt there was a "general attack on Jews and the state."

In Germany, leaders of the Jewish community described anti-Israel demonstrations in Berlin and other German cities as an, "awful, shocking explosion of antisemitism".

In a statement, Dieter Graumann, head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said he knew many Jews had begun to question whether it was safe to remain in Germany. But "we won't let ourselves be intimidated," he said.

Violence and anti-Jewish slogans were reported at several demonstrations in Germany. On Saturday, police in Berlin prevented demonstrators who were shouting, "Israel: Nazi murderer," from attacking an Israeli couple.

On Monday, several hundred anti-Israel demonstrators gathered at a street corner near the Israeli embassy in Berlin, in what Jewish leader Fabian Weissbarth called a "really aggressive atmosphere."

In Austria, anti-Israel protesters tried to attack Yossi Benayoun and other Maccabi Haifa footballers in a pitch invasion which caused the abandonment of a friendly match between the Israeli club and Lille.

Elsewhere, the president of Chile's Jewish community, Gerardo Gorodischer, issued an official complaint over the participation of a government minister at a demonstration in Temuco, in the south of the country, at which the Israeli flag was burned.

In Sydney, Australia, 5,000 protesters joined an anti-Israel march, which Julie Nathan, of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, described as a sea of "black flags of jihad… spewing antisemitism".

More than 3,000 Jews joined solidarity rallies across the country.

Last updated: 4:45pm, July 24 2014