German government condemns widespread antisemitism on pro-Palestinian demos

Protests marked by chanting and flag burning


Anti-Jewish hate attacks and rallies have grown so intense in Germany over the past week that the government has been forced to speak out.  
Speaking in the Bundestag, the government's chief spokesman Steffen Seibert said that while people have a right to demonstrate, "those who use such protests to shout out their hatred of Jews are abusing their right to demonstrate…they will not be tolerated by our democracy.” 
“Whoever attacks Jewish institutions in Germany shows that it is not about criticism of a state and a government, but about aggression and hatred against a religion and those who belong to it".  
Last week saw a wave of anti-Jewish aggression throughout Germany, which included attacks on synagogues, the burning of Jewish flags and antisemitic protests. 
In Berlin demonstrators hurled fireworks, bottles and stones at police during a 2,500-strong pro-Palestinian rally. Chants included “Israel the Child Murderer“ and  “Israel to Murderer of Women.” 
Three young men were arrested in Bonn after a passer-by spotted them outside a synagogue holding an unidentified object which was on fire. When inspected, the entrance to the synagogue was found to have been destroyed. Stones had been used to smash a glass area. The Israeli flag lay burnt on the pavement opposite.   

In Düsseldorf A memorial to the former grand synagogue was set alight. Düsseldorf's Mayor Stephan Keller  said it was an "appalling act".  An Israeli flag hoisted in front of the Düsseldorf city hall in solidarity was also set alight. 

Police in Freiburg referred to a “heated” 600-strong rally organised by the group "Palestine Speak” and in Gelsenkirchen around 180 people marched shouting anti-Jewish slogans, including “Scheiß Juden”. 

In  Mannheim four police officers were injured after they were pelted with stones as they broke up a pro-Palestinian rally. A man tried to set fire to an Israeli flag but police stopped him and arrested him. 
Münster saw arrests for burning the Jewish flag outside a synagogue on Klosterstraße and in Stuttgart antisemitic chanting was heard at a pro-Palestinian rally organised by the initiative "Palestine Speaks.” Police referred to “tumultuous scenes”. 

The Federal Government Commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight against Antisemitism, Felix Klein, referred to the destruction and suffering in Israel, saying:  
"At the same time in Germany, 4000 kilometres away, we see violent rioters marching in front of synagogues, burning Israeli flags and chanting openly antisemitic slogans at protest marches in a repulsive manner….This is pure antisemitism." 

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