Antisemitism

Antisemitic incidents have surged 320% in Germany since Oct. 7


Germany has seen antisemitic incidents surge 320% since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, according to a federal agency’s report released on Tuesday.

The Federal Association of Departments for Research and Information on Antisemitism, known in Germany as RIAS, tracked 994 antisemitic incidents between Oct. 7 and Nov. 9. That average of 29 cases per day exceeds last year’s RIAS tally during the same period by more than 300%.

The group recorded three cases of “extreme violence,” which it defines as attacks that can result in a loss of life or serious bodily harm, whether successfully committed or attempted. One such incident occurred on Oct. 18 in Berlin, when two Molotov cocktails were thrown at a Jewish community center that houses a synagogue as well as a kindergarten.

The report also listed 29 attacks, 72 incidents of targeted damage to property, 32 threats, four antisemitic mass mailings and 854 cases of offensive behavior over the month-long period.

While the largest number of incidents took place on the street, online or in public buildings, RIAS recorded 59 in people’s homes or living environment.

People hold a banner reading ”Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine Freedom for Palestine” as they take part in a demonstration in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, in Berlin, Germany November 18, 2023. (credit: REUTERS/ANNEGRET HILSE)

These cases left a particularly marked impact on residents who felt they could no longer retreat to a safe refuge, said RIAS. In one instance, an Israeli national was accosted by two men for hanging an Israeli flag on his balcony. When he refused to remove it, they forcefully entered his apartment, took the flag and punched him in the face.

Other buildings that house Jewish people have been marked with Stars of David and swastikas.

Advertisement

In response to the wave of attacks, some are hiding their identity. RIAS said that Jewish life is becoming less visible in Germany, as Jews refrain from wearing identifiable symbols and speaking Hebrew in public.

Germany and Israel’s relationship

Germany’s unique relationship with Israel is tied to its 20th-century genocide of the Jews, which weighs heavily on the state’s identity. Shortly after the Hamas attack, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz described the security of Israel in an address to the Bundestag as Germany’s “reason of state.”

State authorities have cited this obligation in their crackdowns on pro-Palestinian demonstrations, as public pressure boils over the war’s mass casualties in Gaza.

Some areas have banned rallies and public statements in solidarity with Palestinians. In Berlin, education senator Katharina Guenther-Wuensch authorized schools to ban the keffiyeh scarf and the phrase “Free Palestine.”

Some prominent Jewish figures in Germany have decried these clampdowns as counterproductive, including “Unorthodox” author Deborah Feldman.







Source link