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Waves of Anti-Semitic Rallies Hits Cities Across Germany

 
 
Miller
 
Reply Mon 28 Jul, 2014 02:52 pm

Wave of anti-Semitic rallies hits cities across Germany

Jewish community braces itself ahead of Friday’s Al Quds Day March, which will be ‘so extreme’ even some far leftists are boycotting

Micki Weinberg July 21, 2014, 4:43 pm
The Times of Israel

BERLIN — An angry mob gathered on Berlin’s famed Kurfürstendamm avenue Thursday. Draped in Palestinian flags and shaking their fists in rage, they chanted in German, “Jude, Jude feiges Schwein! Komm heraus und kämpf allein!” (“Jew, Jew, cowardly swine, come out and fight on your own!”)

Earlier last week in Dortmund and Frankfurt anti-Israel protester chanted, “Hamas Hamas Juden ins gas!” (“Hamas Hamas Jews to the gas!”). On Friday, a 200-strong mob in Essen chimed in, “Scheiss Juden!” (“Jewish ****”)

This week, similar mobs gathered in Kassel, Nuremberg, Mainz, and other cities throughout Germany. The crowds are largely young, with both immigrants and native Germans, many of Middle Eastern origin. Politically they span the spectrum, from German neo-Nazis to Marxist anti-Imperialists, from secular Palestinian nationalists to Islamic fundamentalists.

On Monday, the president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dieter Graumann, condemned the rallies and attendant violence.

“We are currently experiencing in this country an explosion of evil and violent hatred of Jews, which shocks and dismays all of us,” he said in a statement. “We would never in our lives have thought it possible anymore that anti-Semitic views of the nastiest and most primitive kind can be chanted on German streets.”

“Jews are once again openly threatened in Germany and sometimes attacked, synagogues are being defaced and declared as targets,” he added.

In Berlin, Thursday and Friday’s marches of some combined 1,700 protesters were in the heart of Charlottenberg, a neighborhood which was historically and still is a center of Berlin’s Jewish community. Here one finds most of the city’s Jewish schools, synagogues, and other social and religious institutions.

On Friday, Rabbi Shmuel Segal, 36, program director of Berlin’s Chabad Center, rushed to Berlin’s Adenauerplatz, where the latest angry throng was marching. He came to comfort the counselors of Chabad’s summer camp who were housed in a building above the rally.

Segal is unfazed by the latest demonstrations. “We will have to have a bit more security… but at least for tomorrow we are not afraid. However, in ten years from now, we are uncertain [about the security situation],” Segal said in a phone conversation.

Segal is intimately familiar with Charlottenberg’s Jewish heritage. “I know what happened 70 years ago, and [the marching mobs today] connect me to previous bad times,” he said.

Yet he notices a fundamental difference in the character of these anti-Semitic marches. “My feeling is that this is not the regular anti-Semitism that we have in Europe… this comes much more from the Muslim side,” said Segal.

Indeed, shouts of “Allahu Akbar” were perhaps the most common refrain throughout the German rallies. It may be precisely because of the Islamic nature of the rallies that unlike the robust counter-presence to neo-Nazi rallies from anti-fascists, most of the recent demonstrations, despite their openly anti-Semitic chants, faced little opposition.

On Friday, the Iranian-sponsored Al Quds Day March is likely to be the most extreme of the demonstrations. Even hardened anti-Israel activists like Svenja, 20, from Workers’ Power, a self-described Trotskyist organization, are hesitant about attending the Al Quds Day March. Al Quds is the Arabic term for Jersualem.

“We oppose the Israeli state, and anti-Zionism is important to us, but we have not decided yet if we will attend the Al Quds Day March because of certain extreme elements,” said Svenja.

Svenja, 20, is a self-described Trotskyist. She opposes the Jewish state, but is hesitant about attending the Al Quds Day March on July 25, 2014 in Berlin.

However, not all leftists in Germany oppose Israel or are ambivalent about the Al Quds Day March. The No Al Quds Day Alliance is made up of left-wing and anti-Fascist groups and individuals including youth movements and pro-Israel chapters from the Left Party, the Greens, the Social Democrats, and other progressive organizations.

The alliance’s spokesperson, who, in line with the group’s policy, declined to give his name, made it clear that it is unequivocally opposed to Al Quds Day. “Al Quds Day is anti-Semitic and needs to be stopped… [these marches] are beyond the borders of legitimate expression because they create an atmosphere where people fear for their safety.”

The alliance intends to hold a counter demonstration on Friday separate from the Jewish community’s in order to emphasize that it is opposing the Al Quds Day March from a progressive perspective.

“Israel is threatened by reactionary and totalitarian enemies that are homophobic, misogynist, and human rights violators,” he said. “We are not only supporters of Israel, but also supporters of progressive elements in Iran, Arab countries, and even in Gaza.”

On Friday, the alliance expects 200 counter demonstrators to join them at Adenauerplatz, a small turnout compared to other anti-Fascist counter rallies against neo-Nazis, and even smaller compared to the over 1,000 marchers expected to come from all over Germany for the march.

“Other anti-fascists may not come, despite the anti-Semitic nature of the march for two reasons. Firstly, out of fear of being labeled Islamophobic. And secondly, many are more anti-West than they are pro-human rights. Hence their support for Palestinian nationalism, Venezuela, and other problematic causes associated with Third World Liberation movements,” said the alliance spokesman.

Florian Lorenz, 24, an activist and member of the Young Socialists in the SDP (Social Democratic Party), will be attending Friday’s counter-demonstration. Even without the openly anti-Semitic chants, Lorenz sees an anti-Semitic element in the anti-Zionist and anti-Israel movement.

“The chants of ‘Israel child murderer’ and blaming everything on Israel follows an anti-Semitic tradition. We can see that the values and structures of Nazism isn’t over,” said Lorenz.

Lorenz notes that the German left has gone through a significant change in its outlook since the fall of Communism and the advent of a new western world order.

“Since the 90s, many left-wing people in Germany realized that they needed to reexamine the theoretical and practical stances of the left. They realized that anti-Zionism and an almost naive affirmation of national liberation movements like the Palestinians is not possible any more. As leftists, it is a duty to fight an anti-Semitic, misogynist, and homophobic worldview. You have to stand up to this,” said Lorenz.

One person who never expected to see another Al Quds Day March again is Reza Dayeenavi, 44, owner of Charlottenberg’s popular Espresso Bar a block from its expected route.

Dayeenavi fled Iran for Germany in 1984. In 1979, Islamic fundamentalist dictator Ayatollah Khomeini instituted Al Quds Day as a day dedicated to hatred of Israel and support of the Palestinian people. In Iran, Al Quds Day is a day of mass marches with chants of “Death to Israel!” and speeches attacking the Jewish state. During the presidency of Ahmedinejad, Al Quds Day provided the Iranian president with a platform to make his notorious calls for Israel’s annihilation and his denials of the Holocaust.

Like Rabbi Segal, Dayeenavi feels secure now but is cautious about the long-term effects concerning the new generation of extremists in Germany.

“While I’m not scared because I’m living in a strong democracy, we should still have our eyes open. There could be danger in the future,” said Dayeenavi.

That danger is already being felt in Berlin where on July 10, a Jewish man was attacked in Berlin for wearing a Star of David. A similar episode occurred in April when six youths surrounded an Israeli and his wife as they left their apartment building and physically assaulted the Israeli in the face.

How will German Jews deal with this seeming resurgence of anti-Semitism?

“We must continue in our own way. If we change our plans, it will be much worse,” said Segal, who remembers how he hesitated to move to Berlin nine years ago from Israel. Segal’s grandfather’s family in Czechoslovakia was murdered by Germans in the Holocaust and his wife’s grandfather fled Germany to Israel shortly before World War II.

While debating his move, Segal approached his wife’s grandfather and asked him if he should relocate to Berlin.

The grandfather answered, “Yes, if you go there and build Yiddishkeit [Judaism] I’m happy for you to go. In the same place where there is darkness, if you bring light, this is the greatest victory over the Nazis.”


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Type: Discussion • Score: 11 • Views: 4,349 • Replies: 78

 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jul, 2014 03:03 pm
@Miller,
This is horrible and unacceptable. However, is anti-Palestinian hatred any worse than anti-Jewish hatred? In the US, anti-Arab hatred is far more prevalent.


Walter Hinteler
 
  6  
Reply Mon 28 Jul, 2014 10:49 pm
@maxdancona,
Those anti-semitic signs etc during the pro-Palestinian demonstrations are really totally unacceptable.
Quote:
The German media has expressed shock at the tenor of anti-Israel chants at some of the demonstrations, in a country which is ultra-sensitive about anti-Semitism because of the Holocaust perpetrated by the Nazis.
Jerusalem Post

Fortunately, these persons were caught by the police. And all other anti-Israel/pro-Palestine demonstrations were peaceful demonstrations against the war.
A comment on Deutsche Welle asked: Where does political criticism of Israel end, and where does anti-Semitism begin?
Quote:
It's certainly not a new debate, but the controversial topic has picked up steam again - especially in Germany: Where does political criticism of Israel end, and where does anti-Semitism begin?
[...]
But historian Wolfgang Benz argues against the current panickiness about a potential new rise of anti-Semitism in Germany. He was the director of the anti-Semitism research center with Technische Universität (TU) Berlin until 2011. According to Benz, the latest developments are no indication that anti-Semitism in Germany has taken on a new dimension. He has been researching the phenomenon for 30 years. Anti-Semitism has been on the same level all this time, he said.
However, the mood towards the state of Israel has changed, he said. Israeli policies were no longer supported, said Benz, but that was not the same as anti-Semitism, he added. According to a survey conducted by German public broadcaster ZDF, 18 percent of German citizens blame Israel for the current conflict in the Middle East. Only nine percent said Palestinians were mainly responsible.
[...]
Rolf Verleger, a former member of the Central Council of Jews, has his very own explanation. He holds politicians and the media at least partly responsible for anti-Semitic slogans heard in German streets. If politicians and journalists keep saying that whatever Israel is doing is right; and if even members of the Jewish community in Germany say that whoever is against Israel is against Jews - that naturally provokes anti-Semitic slogans, he said. Verleger added it was important not to go along with every stupid move by the Israeli government.


Just adding that there's an incredible amount of Islamophobic attacks in Germany (e.g. 36 mosques were attacked last year) ... which rarely makes it in the news outside my country.

And today, the anti-Semitism research center with Technische Universität (TU) Berlin published that there's an increase in anti-Jewish slogans on the social media ... with a "modern anti-semitic language".
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  6  
Reply Tue 29 Jul, 2014 04:25 am
this just could be some kind of one off thing, i mean, i'm pretty sure nothing like this has happened before in Germany

Walter Hinteler
 
  6  
Reply Tue 29 Jul, 2014 09:24 am
@djjd62,
From today's The Independent's report We ignore the new anti-Semitism taking hold at our peril:
Quote:
As Europe prepares to mark the 75th anniversary of the Second World War, the warning signs from history are hauntingly familiar

The oldest hatred, this time cloaked as legitimate concern for Gaza, has once again cast its ominous shadow across Europe.
From Berlin, Paris and Rome to Amsterdam, Ankara and Istanbul, protests are turning into pogroms.

In France, home to Europe’s largest Jewish community, Prime Minister Manuel Valls has warned of a “new anti-Semitism” taking hold. Synagogues are being firebombed and Jewish shops pillaged. Gangs of young men, intoxicated by a cause and angered by their own inadequacies, roam the streets chanting “death to Jews”.

Life isn’t this terrifying in Britain, but the malicious mood music can still be heard loud and clear.

More than 100 anti-Semitic incidents have been reported across the UK since the start of July – double the number under normal circumstances. Cases include a brick thrown at a Belfast synagogue and “baby murderers” shouted at a synagogue in Liverpool. In north London, a rabbi was verbally abused by youths shouting, “Free Palestine, F*** the Zionists, F*** the Jews.”
[...]
As Europe prepares to mark the 75th anniversary of the Second World War, the warning signs from history are hauntingly familiar. Nazi imagery has been used to abuse Israel and Jews at ‘Free Palestine’ rallies in London. Decent, fair-minded people, horrified at the appalling loss of life in Gaza (if not Hamas rockets), join these demonstrations.

They march among barbaric Jew-hate banners and chant: ‘Hitler Was Right’… ‘Well done Israel, Hitler would be proud’… ’Hamas, Jews to the gas’… ‘From The River to the Sea, Palestine will be free!’
... ... ...

It's true, we did have those anti-semitic signs and shouts in demonstrations here. But since that's a crime here, all those are under investigation.
That's not minimising what they did - we know that the world looks to Germany more than to any other country re anti-Semitism (see report above).
McGentrix
 
  2  
Reply Tue 29 Jul, 2014 01:55 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

This is horrible and unacceptable. However, is anti-Palestinian hatred any worse than anti-Jewish hatred? In the US, anti-Arab hatred is far more prevalent.


Just the other day I passed 4 different anti-Arab protest marches driving to work.

That was sarcasm for those of you that are impaired...

I seriously wonder what planet you really live on sometimes.
0 Replies
 
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jul, 2014 05:48 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

In the US, anti-Arab hatred is far more prevalent.


Where is your evidence for this?

Instead of saying "anti-Arab", don't you think it would be more correct to say "anti-Muslim"?
Germlat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jul, 2014 01:42 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
No Walt...not anymore. Time has passed. What our forefathers did is not in essence what is relevant today. Still...be careful. LOL.
Setanta
 
  4  
Reply Thu 31 Jul, 2014 03:51 pm
Bigotry is woven into the fabric of the United States. People hate Muslims, Jews, Catholics, blacks, whites, Hispanics, homosexuals--for every demographic category, there are haters. Miller/Foofie hates anyone who is not Jewish, although her particular venom is reserved for African-Americans and Irish-Americans. I doubt the anyone can confidently say that the hatred of Muslims is more prevalent than the hatred of Jews. There's more than enough bigotry to go around--and i suspect it's no different in other countries.
0 Replies
 
Germlat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jul, 2014 03:53 pm
@Germlat,
That was meant to be ironic....
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jul, 2014 04:08 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
This is horrible and unacceptable. However, is anti-Palestinian hatred any worse than anti-Jewish hatred? In the US, anti-Arab hatred is far more prevalent.


Given a thousands years of history of Jewish pogroms with the German holocaust happening in the memory of living survivors yes it is worst then anti-palestians feelings.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jul, 2014 04:25 pm
@BillRM,
Quote:
Given a thousands years of history of Jewish pogroms with the German holocaust happening in the memory of living survivors yes it is worst then anti-palestians feelings.


Anti-Palestinian hatred is the same as Anti-Arab hatred. It is the same thing for the same reasons.

The Pogroms against Jews were committed by Europeans. During this time the Arabs and the Jews got along relatively fine. It was European Christians (or traditionally Christian countries) who were responsible for the atrocities against the Jews.

Germlat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jul, 2014 06:16 pm
@maxdancona,
I agree...the Jewish were not acknowledged byEurope as victims at the time..but also the rest of the world...the news were but second of third page curiosities..while an incredible injustice was being committed. Fast -forward...incredible injustices towards the Arabs.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jul, 2014 09:45 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
Anti-Palestinian hatred is the same as Anti-Arab hatred. It is the same thing for the same reasons.


Not for the same reasons at all, as the hatred and the killings of Jews was driven for the last thousand years by religious beliefs and envy not the actions of any part of the Jewish community while the hatred of the Arab-Muslims is driven by a not all that small percent of them using their religion as an excused to do mass murders of the infidels.
djjd62
 
  3  
Reply Fri 1 Aug, 2014 05:13 am
@BillRM,
ever heard of a little something called the crusades?

anti moslem/arab hatred is as old as the persecution of the jews, or if not as old, pretty damn old, and long before the major terrorist events there was the mass hatred over the oil crisis 40 odd years ago
Setanta
 
  4  
Reply Fri 1 Aug, 2014 05:23 am
There is an excellent book which anyone who really wants to understand the issues that Arabs have with the west ought to read. That is The Crusades through Arab Eyes, by Amin Maalouf. Maalouf uses primary sources from the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries. For many Muslims, the exploitation of petroleum producing countries (as they see it) is just a continuation of the crusades. Islamist propagandists take advantage of that point of view to propound a claim that the crusades never ended, and that the west wants to destroy Islam, especially in order to steal their resources. Idiots in the United States who call for holy war against Muslims or for a new crusade just exacerbate the problem.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Aug, 2014 05:58 am
@djjd62,
djjd62 wrote:
ever heard of a little something called the crusades?

The Crusades were a just war of self defense against Islamic aggression.

Well, except for the fourth one.
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Fri 1 Aug, 2014 06:04 am
@oralloy,
That is complete and utter horseshit. You never fail to butcher history to advance your right-wing polemic.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Aug, 2014 06:50 am
@djjd62,
Quote:
ever heard of a little something called the crusades?


Ever hear of the Muslim invasions of the West that happen before the crusades?

In fact the crusades was trigger when the Byzantine Emperor Alexius I call on the Pope for help to defend Constantinople and the lands of the Byzantine Empire from the Muslims Seljuk Turks.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  2  
Reply Fri 1 Aug, 2014 06:58 am
@Setanta,
Quote:
That is complete and utter horseshit. You never fail to butcher history to advance your right-wing polemic.


No it is not horseshit or any other **** for that matter and if it was not for the Byzantine Empire and the fortified city of Constantinople holding out until 1453 the Western world would now likely be Muslim by way of the sword.
 

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