Since the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, at least 176 Israeli flags have been desecrated or stolen in Germany, the website of the weekly “Spiegel” found in the interior ministries of the federal states. The head of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany condemned anti-Semitic incidents at pro-Palestinian demonstrations.
“Spiegel” describes that, for example, North Rhine-Westphalia reported 35 stolen and eleven burned white and blue flags with the Star of David. Other states only provide approximate numbers: Baden-Württemberg recorded incidents “in the low three-digit range”, Lower Saxony in the “low double-digit range”, as did Schleswig-Holstein and Hesse.
Bavaria’s interior ministry said attacks on flags are not included in the statistics, although there are reports of several incidents, including in Passau and Augsburg. In Bamberg, an unknown person allegedly wiped his shoes with an Israeli flag and then threw it into a garbage bin.
There are penalties for destroying flags
In Stade (Lower Saxony), young men stormed the town hall and tried to tear down the Israeli flag displayed in a gesture of solidarity. In Giengen (Baden-Württemberg), two windows in the town hall were broken. The perpetrator tried to start a fire in the building and stole the Israeli and Ukrainian flags.
“Spiegel” reminded that anyone who desecrates the flags and emblems of countries may face imprisonment of up to two years or a fine.
The Central Council of Muslims criticizes anti-Semitic incidents at demonstrations
On Saturday, on Deutschlandfunk radio, the chairman of the Central Council of Muslims Germany Aiman Mazyek condemned anti-Semitic incidents during pro-Palestinian demonstrations. – There were “very clear anti-Semitic transgressions,” he said. He added that “they must be punished.”
Mazyek appealed to Muslims: “be careful where you go,” because – as he said – there are groups that use such demonstrations to chant slogans against Jews and express anti-Semitism.
He also stressed that “not to put everyone in one bag.” For example, this weekend there are many calls for prayers and peace events with a clear message of achieving a ceasefire, enabling humanitarian aid and preventing the continuation of war.
The Central Council is one of the main Muslim organizations in Germany. After the attack by the terrorist organization Hamas on Israel at the beginning of October, there were voices of criticism that the associations spoke too late and did not condemn Hamas’ actions clearly enough – reminds the website of the daily “Welt”.
Main photo source: PAP/EPA/CLEMENS BILAN