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April 24, 2022 4:38 pm
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Pro-Palestinian Protesters in Germany Chant Antisemitic Slogans, Assault Journalists and Police

avatar by Sharon Wrobel

Demonstration in support of Palestinians in Berlin, on April 23, 2022. Photo: Michael Kuenne/PRESSCOV/Sipa USA

Germany’s interior minister denounced pro-Palestinian demonstrators in Berlin Saturday, who chanted antisemitic and anti-Israel slogans, attacked police officers and harassed journalists.

“There is no place in our society for antisemitism,” Germany’s Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser tweeted on Sunday. “The rule of law must act consistently here. We must never get used to antisemitic insults — no matter from where and from whom they come.”

Protesters at pro-Palestinian rallies in Berlin, Hanover and Dortmund over the weekend voiced antisemitic slurs and anti-Israel slogans, describing Israel as an “apartheid” regime, advocating violence against the Jewish state, and chanting “free, free Palestine from the river to the sea.”

Videos from the demonstrations posted on social media showed participants shouting slogans like “Scheiß Jude!” (“shitty Jew”) and “strike, oh Qassam, don’t let the Zionists sleep” — referring to a rocket type developed by the Hamas terror group and fired at Israeli civilian targets.

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Incidents of hostile outrages towards journalists at the demonstrations were also reported, prompting police intervention. One of the journalists, Peter Wilke of the German daily Bild, was escorted by police officers out of the protest after being circled by a group of participants screaming: “Du Jude! Dreckiger Jude! Drecksjude” (“dirty Jew”).

“Journalists are kicked and insulted in an antisemitic manner by a mob of Jew-and-Israel haters in the middle of our capital,” Wilke tweeted. “We have come this far. But even these people will not win with their hatred.”

In Berlin alone, at least 750 marched through the streets of the capital, according to the local police.

Jörg Reichel — regional manager of the German Journalists’ Union, who was at the Berlin demonstration — attested that several reporters were physically attacked, punched, threatened, and harassed by participants.

During the Berlin rally, which was secured by 160 police officers, stones were thrown at several police officers and firecrackers were set off. Berlin police said Sunday that it initiated criminal investigations for serious violation of the public peace, dangerous bodily harm, and incitement to hatred, among other charges. Two suspects were arrested immediately and investigations into other suspects are ongoing, the police said in the statement.

Commenting on the demonstrations, Samuel Salzborn, Berlin’s antisemitism officer, stated that “antisemitic terror against Israel was backed up with anti-Israel slogans, while at the same time the hatred is directed against all Jews.”

“The core of these assemblies is antisemitism – nothing else,” Salzborn asserted.

Berlin’s Senator of the Interior, Iris Spranger, announced that criminal offenses will be prosecuted to the fullest extent.

“My position is crystal clear: As a society, we must take a clear and unified stand against antisemitism and hatred,” Spranger tweeted.

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