BThe Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) has announced a crackdown on attacks on Jewish institutions in Germany. “We will not tolerate Israeli flags burning on German soil and attacking Jewish institutions,” Seehofer told the newspaper Bild am Sonntag. “Anyone who spreads anti-Semitic hatred will feel the full harshness of the rule of law.”
In view of the escalation of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas, thousands of people took to the streets in German cities on Saturday to express their solidarity with the Palestinians. At several rallies there were incidents and riots. In the days before, there had been anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli demonstrations in several cities, during which Israel flags were also lit.
“The security authorities are wide awake”
Seehofer emphasized: “Germany must not be a safe haven for terrorists. The security authorities are wide awake and do everything to protect the people in our country. Jews must never live in fear again in Germany. ”In view of the anti-Israeli demonstrations, Seehofer offered the federal state police personnel and material support. Against the background of the ongoing conflict in Israel, “assembly-typical crimes” are to be expected.
SPD leader Saskia Esken also spoke out in favor of consistently punishing participants in anti-Semitic demonstrations. “Especially with a view to our German history, anti-Jewish and anti-Semitic slogans are absolutely unacceptable,” she told the newspapers of the Funke media group: “Anyone who shouts or spreads these inflammatory slogans must expect consistent persecution by our rule of law.”
SPD leader Esken: Protect the open society
The state must ensure that Jews are safe in Germany, Esken continued: “We do not allow the rights or religious fanatics to question the achievements of our open, colorful and free society.”
Jewish life and Jewish culture are a “valuable part of our German and European society”, added the politician: “Jews have the right to feel safe in Germany, so we have to make sure that they are safe too.”
The head of the Christian Democrats in the EU Parliament, Manfred Weber, called for hatred and agitation against religions to be criminalized across Europe. Freedom of belief is a core of the European social model, the deputy CSU chairman told the newspapers of the Funke media group: “It would be worth considering whether the EU states should jointly examine whether hate speech against religions in a suitable form should become a criminal offense in all countries . “
Manfred Weber: AfD shares responsibility
Weber also gave parties like the AfD joint responsibility for the anti-Semitic attacks in the wake of the escalating Middle East conflict. “Radicals like the AfD in Germany or Le Pen in France have fueled the shifting of borders in anti-Semitism,” said the chairman of the EPP parliamentary group: “You have to be named as the founder of such excesses.”
Anti-Semitism shows itself on the streets in Europe and on the Internet in a terrifying form, Weber complained further: “Politicians must take a clear position against anti-Semitism in every form, the rule of law must act consistently.”
At the same time Weber called for a clear stance in the EU on Hamas’ “ongoing thousandfold rocket terror” against the civilian population in Israel. “This terror is unacceptable and must be condemned in the strongest possible terms,” said the European politician. “The EU must be clear that Israel has full right to self-defense.” Germany and the entire EU stand on Israel’s side.
Israel’s ambassador to Germany, Jeremy Issacharoff, has spoken out in favor of a common stand by Muslims and Jews against the current polarization in the Federal Republic. “The Jewish and Muslim communities can have a lot in common, and in some places in Germany there are close contacts between these communities,” said Issacharoff of the newspaper Welt am Sonntag, according to a preliminary report.
“This bond can go a long way. It helps when Jews and Muslims come together, exchange ideas and discuss common challenges. This can also be a basis for jointly counteracting the currently growing hatred, “said the ambassador, referring to the current debate about the fighting in the Middle East and their effects in Germany.