The tragedy unfolding in the Middle East also has consequences for Europe. Residents of the continent are often divided in terms of who they consider the victim and who the perpetrator in this conflict. In addition to acceptable forms of expressing one’s position, such as demonstrations or showing solidarity, there are also shameful acts. Anti-Semitic activities have intensified in Germany.
Stars of David painted on the doors of houses inhabited by Jews bring back the worst associations in Germany – with the 1930s. Similar emotions were evoked by the throwing of Molotov cocktails at a synagogue in the center of Berlin. – We are afraid because we don’t know what will happen tomorrow, how long the threat will last. We cannot expect the police to protect every Jew or every building 24 hours a day, says Shlomo Afanase, a German rabbi.
The German Chancellor said that anti-Semitic attacks are inhumane, disgusting and cannot be tolerated. He repeated these words in Israel, during a visit emphasizing solidarity with the nation attacked by Hamas terrorists. – It is clear to me that we will never accept attacks on Jewish institutions in our country, we will never accept violence and anti-Semitic slogans – said Olaf Scholz.
Since October 7, i.e. the massive attack by Hamas on Israel, the German police have recorded over 200 anti-Semitic incidents – ranging from burning the Israeli flag to criminal threats, attacks and spitting. The German president expressed outrage after one of the pro-Palestinian organizations celebrated the Hamas attack in Berlin.
– We cannot tolerate this, the fact that people come out on our streets celebrating the brutal attack on Israel. Such behavior terrifies me, such behavior disgusts me, said Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
The Jewish community in Berlin is calling for the banning of the Samidoun organization, which wants to be seen as a defender of the rights of Palestinian prisoners, but in fact plays a major role in spreading anti-Israel propaganda. Samidoun members handed out sweets on the streets of Berlin to commemorate the attacks on Israel.
– This organization is a Trojan horse in the middle of German democracy. They insult this democracy. They must be punished, says Ron Prosor, Israel’s ambassador to Germany.
A year ago, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution estimated that about 500 Hamas supporters live in Germany. Today, the German authorities are threatening to expel them from the country. “We will use all legal possibilities to deport Hamas supporters,” announced German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser.
Attacks on synagogues across Europe
Hatred from the Middle East has spread all over the world in the last several days. It can be seen in both pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel demonstrations. However, unlike the Palestinian community, the Jewish community falls victim to physical aggression. There are attacks on synagogues across Europe. Even Jewish schools were closed in London.
– Schools should be safe havens for children, staff and local communities. It breaks my heart to think that three of our schools had to close because principals feared for the safety of children. History shows that whenever there is unrest in the Middle East, the number of hate crimes increases across the country, notes Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London.
In Germany, the authorities have been observing a growing wave of anti-Semitism for several years. Initially, it was mainly the far right that was responsible for it. Now German Jews mainly have to fear attacks from radical Muslims. – I am afraid that the situation of Jews in Germany will worsen with each subsequent reaction from Israel – comments Felix Klein, the German government’s plenipotentiary for anti-Semitism.
According to Jewish organizations, 118,000 Jews live in Germany, and up to a quarter of a million people claim to have Jewish roots.
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Main photo source: Reuters