Berlin Police Apologize for Stopping Israeli Flag Display at Soccer Game
JNS.org – German police have apologized for removing an Israeli flag that was on display during a soccer game in Berlin.
The flag was displayed during a game between Berlin’s 1. FC Union and FC Ingolstadt on Sunday in support of Almog Cohen, an Israeli player on the Ingolstadt team. But Berlin police ordered it to be removed.
“Today an Israeli flag was removed from a game against Berlin’s Union. A flag belonging to German fans and banned by a local security guard. ‘Without Jewish flags,'” Cohen tweeted in Hebrew on Sunday.
“I saw how our fans were taking down the Israeli flag. They told me that they did so on the orders of the police,” Cohen later told the German newspaper Bild. “I asked if the flags of other countries were also prohibited. He told me, ‘No, only the Jewish flag.’ That shocked me.”
Klaus Kandt, president of the Berlin police, said Monday that the flag was mistakenly removed because a police officer thought the display was a prohibited political statement.
“It’s the police’s job to protect the freedom of expression. The demand to roll up the flag was the incorrect decision for which I apologize to all those concerned,” Kandt said, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.