As the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues to heighten, protests around the world, both pro-Israel and pro-Palestine, have stirred up a lot of controversy. One such anti-Israel, pro-Palestine protest in Germany has created sky-high tension for invoking a World War II, Holocaust-like atmosphere, and using old anti-Semitic slogans to express disapproval of Israeli tactics.
Protests have erupted throughout the continent. Most recently, in France, despite the outlaw of anti-Israel protests, youths have taken to violent looting of Jewish businesses, and in London, where over 45,000 camped outside the Israel embassy to advocate for Palestine. John Berman, co-host for a CNN talk show, pointed out that “Some of the lines seem to be getting blurred” between anti-Israel rhetoric and anti-Semitism.
This blurred line seems to be the most radical in Berlin, where according to a report by The Washington Post, before a recent pro-Palestinian rally, an organizer bellowed the rules, as ordered by Berlin police: no repeating the slogan, “Jew, Jew, cowardly pig, come out and fight alone,” no setting fire to Israeli flags, and no shouting “Death to Israel.” CNN revealed that protestors were calling for all Jews to be gassed. A 29-year-old protestor, Leila El Abtah told the Post that those things were previously shouted in protest.
The Israeli ambassador to Germany wrote in the Berliner Zeitung newspaper that many Muslims in Germany and those against Israel “pursue the Jews in the streets of Berlin… as if we were in 1938.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is bent on speaking against the protests and brutal treatment, stating, “These outbursts and statements are an attack on freedom and tolerance and an attempt to destabilize our free democratic order. We cannot and will not accept this… The security authorities are taking every attack onto a Jewish institution very seriously. Anti-Semitic acts are being prosecuted consequently and by all legal means.”
While many are relieved to hear the firm stance against these anti-Semitic protests, pro-Palestinians claim Merkel is merely aligning with Israel due to Germany’s tumultuous past.
Image Credit: Gary Coronado/Houston Chronicle
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