German Chancellor Leads Condemnation of Antisemitic Outrages in Wake of US Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday condemned the angry antisemitic demonstrations that broke out in various cities in her country in recent days following President Donald Trump’s announcement of US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Merkel spoke out in the wake of widespread shock in Germany over the brazenly antisemitic character of the string of incidents, which also took place in other major cities around the world.
“On Friday, we saw severe disturbances with the burning of Israeli flags and Stars of David, ” Merkel said.
The chancellor said that her ruling CDU Party “condemns these violations of the rule of law. We condemn all kinds of anti-Semitism and xenophobia, and no disagreements, not even over the status of Jerusalem, justify such actions. The government must fight all such incidents with full force.”
Merkel’s comments followed an earlier comment by a government spokesman who spoke of feeling “ashamed” by the anti-Israel rallies.
“At certain rallies over the weekend, slogans were chanted, Israeli flags were burned and slander against the State of Israel and Jews in general were spread which were shameful,” Steffen Seibert said on Monday. “One has to be ashamed when hatred of Jews is put on display so openly on the streets of German cities.”
Meanwhile, in Canada, B’nai Brith condemned demonstrations in Vancouver on Friday and Saturday, where it said “children were encouraged to chant terrorist slogans and protestors stole and destroyed Israeli flags.”
“This is merely the latest in a worrying string of antisemitic incidents in Vancouver in recent months,” said Michael Mostyn, chief executive officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “It is simply unacceptable for pro-Israel Canadians to be physically intimidated while pro-Palestinian protesters call for violence and martyrdom.”
According to local broadcaster News 1130, one of the organizers of Saturday’s protest was local imam Tarek Ramadan. In November, B’nai Brith filed a police complaint against Ramadan after he urged his congregants in a sermon to wage “jihad” against Israel and send “money, weapons and expertise” to Palestinians.
“It was a very threatening and antisemitic atmosphere,” said Jake Reznik, a Jewish student at the University of British Columbia who arrived at the protest carrying an Israeli flag. “We came to peacefully share our viewpoint, but they grabbed our flag right out of my friend’s hands and then ripped it to shreds. They clearly weren’t interested in peace.”
Similar scenes were also witnessed outside the US Embassy in London on Friday, where demonstrators chanted an Islamist antisemitic slogan that mocks the Jewish tribes of Arabia for having been defeated by the Prophet Muhammad’s army at the Battle of Khaybar in 628 CE.
“The ‘Khaybar, Khaybar’ chant heard and documented at Friday’s protest outside the US Embassy in London can only be interpreted as a call to incite violence against Jewish people,” a statement from the Board of Deputies of British Jews noted. “It is outrageous that these protesters thought that such a chant would be acceptable on the streets of London in 2017. That this comes in the context of a firebombing of a synagogue in Sweden and an attack on a kosher restaurant in Amsterdam only increases our concern. These acts are not criticisms of a decision by the US government but demonstrations of antisemitism.”