After Tehran Spectacle, Antisemitic ‘Quds Day’ Rallies Loom in Berlin and Vienna
About 2,000 Islamists and their sympathizers are expected to gather in Berlin on Saturday afternoon for the annual “Quds Day” demonstration — an Iranian regime-backed event that advocates the elimination of the State of Israel and the “liberation” of Jerusalem.
Local news outlets reported on Friday that the demonstrators will gather at two o’clock in the afternoon, marching from from Adenauerplatz to Wittenbergplatz in the heart of the German capital.
Saturday’s Quds Day demonstrations in Berlin and Vienna, to be followed by one in London on Sunday, come on the heels of Iranian regime-sponsored rallies on Friday in Tehran and other cities.
But a planned counter-demonstration in Berlin has arguably been receiving more media attention. On Friday, two prominent local politicians called on the city’s residents to turn out against “Quds Day” march, which routinely features antisemitic speeches and chants, as well as displays of the flag of Hezbollah and signs equating Zionism with the Nazi regime.
Lorenz Korgel, the commissioner combating antisemitism in Berlin, said on Friday that he would “be delighted to meet many democrats at the counter-protest on Saturday.”
Andreas Geisel — a senator in the Berlin legislature for the center-left SPD Party — slammed the “Quds Day” demonstration as “one of the most disgusting assemblies in Berlin,” and insisted that “antisemitism can never be tolerated.”
“The political will for a ban is there,” Geisel said on Twitter. “But a ban must be upheld by the courts.”
Unser stv. Landesvorsitzender Andreas #Geisel ruft zur Teilnahme an der Kundgebung gegen den #AlQuds-Marsch auf:
⏰1. Juni – 15 Uhr
📍 am George-Grosz-Platz (Schlüterstr./Kurfürstendamm), Berlin-Charlottenburg pic.twitter.com/S4DMpYZBJ7
— SPD Berlin 🇪🇺 (@spdberlin) May 31, 2019
In Vienna, the capital of neighboring Austria, two left-wing parliamentarians on Friday joined a chorus of support for a counter-demonstration against Saturday’s “Quds Day” march in that city.
“A march in which antisemitic slogans and messages are distributed against out Jewish fellow citizens has no place in Vienna,” Alma Zadic, human rights spokeswoman for the Jetzt Party, said on Friday. “That’s why we call for a ban on the antisemitic march.”
Zadic’s fellow MP, Daniela Holzinger, called on Viennese citizens to attend the counter-protest, “Together against any anti-Semitism! No Al-Quds Day in Vienna!”
As in Berlin, Quds Day marches in Vienna have invariably featured antisemitic calls for Israel’s destruction, as well as displays of solidarity with the Iranian regime and its allies.
Stop the Bomb — a campaigning group that is behind Saturday’s counter-protest — reminded supporters in an email this week that the “central goal of the Iranian regime is to destroy Israel.”
Added the group: “Since [the Islamic revolution of] 1979, nothing has changed.”