Angela Merkel condemns anti-Semitism heard at Gaza protest in Germany

Police investigating assault of Jewish man in Berlin

The Israeli and German flags are displayed during a rally in solidarity with Israel and against anti-Semitism in Berlin. Reuters
The Israeli and German flags are displayed during a rally in solidarity with Israel and against anti-Semitism in Berlin. Reuters

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday condemned anti-Jewish statements heard at protests over the fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza.

Mrs Merkel called for calm and warned “whoever takes hatred of Jews to our streets places himself outside our constitutional order”.

“Those who bear hatred towards Jews in the street, those who incite racial hatred put themselves outside our Basic Law,” she said in her weekly podcast.

“Such acts must be punished severely.”

The head of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany also condemned anti-Semitic chants made during the protests.

Police made about 60 arrests last Saturday and about 100 officers were hurt when the rally turned violent.

Some participants at marches in towns across Germany shouted anti-Semitic slogans, which Mrs Merkel said was “unacceptable”.

Others burnt Israeli flags and in one case the entrance to a synagogue was stoned.

Police said a Jewish man was punched in the face and abused with anti-Semitic language while walking home early on Saturday.

They said the 41-year-old victim, wearing a traditional skullcap, or kippa, passed three other men in Duerer Square at about 2.15am.

One of three punched him in the face, knocking him against a shop window, and used an anti-Semitic slur.

The victim was taken to hospital, where he was treated and released.

Police said the men had not been found.

Updated: May 24, 2021 08:49 AM

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