Germany is the most recent country to see a rise in antisemitism since the war between Israel and Hamas broke out earlier this month. The nation’s chancellor and president came out in strong opposition to the rise of hatred to Jews, both in person and online.
Thousands of people gathered in Berlin for a demonstration that called for support of Israel and strong condemnation of antisemitism. There were those who carried the Israeli flag and posters, according to the Associated Press.
There were also those who held up photos of those who have been reported missing or held by Hamas terrorists as hostages. While it is uncertain how many hostages Hamas terrorists abducted during their attack against the Jewish state earlier this month, there are at least 200 missing people.
The protest was put together by several different organizations, all of whom have condemned the sudden rise in antisemitism since Hamas launched their attack against Israel. While the organizers suggested that there were 20,000 people in attendance, the authorities put the number closer to 10,000, per the report.
“It is unbearable that Jews are living in fear again today — in our country of all places,” President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said. “Every single attack on Jews, on Jewish institutions is a disgrace for Germany. And every single attack fills me with shame and anger.”
However, there have also been pro-Palestinian demonstrations in Germany since the war broke out, including in Cologne, Frankfurt, Hanover, Karlsruhe, Munster, and Stuttgart, according to DW. The authorities estimated that there were around 7,000 people in Dusseldorf who marched under the motto, “For peace, justice, and human dignity in Palestine.”
The police stated that more people showed up for these demonstrations than the organizers had estimated, but that they mostly remained peaceful. All of the events were accompanied by a strong police presence, per the DW.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Steinmeier both denounced the attacks carried out by Hamas on October 7, but they also voiced their concern for Palestinian citizens who have been caught up in the conflict.
“I am deeply outraged by the way in which antisemitic hatred and inhuman agitation have been breaking out since that fateful October 7, on the internet, in social media around the world, and shamefully also here in Germany,” Scholz stated. “Here in Germany, of all places.”
“That is why our ‘never again’ must be unbreakable,” he added, gathering with Jewish leaders at the Weill Synagogue.
“This synagogue here in the middle in Dessau says that Jewish life is and remains a part of Germany. It belongs here,” he went on. “Germany will do everything to protect and strengthen Jewish life.”
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