Angela Merkel pledges to fight German antisemitism


German Chancellor Angela Merkel has pledged to do everything possible to fight antisemitism and anti-Israel sentiment in her country.

Speaking at an unprecedented rally against the rise of antisemitism, in Berlin on Sunday, she said it was “an outrageous scandal” that German Jews had been threatened.

The protest, organised by Jewish community leaders, followed nearly 300 antisemitic incidents in Germany in June and July.

Mrs Merkel said: “It's our national and civic duty to fight antisemitism. Anyone who hits someone wearing a skullcap is hitting us all.

“Anyone who damages a Jewish gravestone is disgracing our culture. Anyone who attacks a synagogue is attacking the foundations of our free society.

"That far more than 100,000 Jews are now living in Germany is something of a miracle. It's a gift and it fills me with a deepest gratitude.

"Jewish life is part of our identity and culture. It hurts me when I hear that young Jewish parents are asking if it's safe to raise their children here or elderly ask if it was right to stay here."

There has been a sharp rise in antisemitism in Germany since Israel’s military operation in Gaza during the summer. Petrol bombs were thrown at a synagogue in Wuppertal and a man wearing a kippah was attacked in Berlin.

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