German police launch investigation following demonstration at which participants chanted ‘Death to the Jews’ and ‘Death to Israel.’
German police have launched an investigation following a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Berlin over the weekend at which participants chanted “Death to the Jews” and “Death to Israel” — slogans proscribed under Germany’s stringent post-Holocaust laws to combat antisemitism.
The 500 mainly Muslim demonstrators gathered on Saturday in the Kreuzberg and Neukölln neighborhoods of the German capital.
Video of the event captured by Democ., an independent NGO, caught some some demonstrators shouting “Death to the Jews” as well as rhythmic chants of “Death to Israel” and “With our blood and our spirit, we will liberate you, Al Aqsa” — a reference to the mosque in eastern Jerusalem that has been the site of clashes in the last week between Palestinians and Israeli forces.
News of the police investigation into the demonstration — organized by the pro-Palestinian organization Samidoun — was accompanied by trenchant condemnation of the scenes there by prominent politicians.
Nancy Faeser, Germany’s Interior Minister, declared on Twitter: “I condemn the highly inhuman, anti-Semitic and anti-Israel slogans in the strongest possible terms. Now it is important to investigate quickly and decisively. The agitators must be identified and held accountable.”
The deputy federal chairman of the German police union, Manuel Ostermann, called the demonstration “a picture of shame.” Antisemitism needed to be fought in Germany “with all legal means,” he added, in remarks reported by German broadcaster BR24.
Other voices condemning the demonstration included the German-Israeli Friendship Society, which called on the federal government to impose a ban on Samidoun. The Evangelical Bishop of Berlin, Christian Stäblein, stated on Twitter that “We must stand up against this hatred. We stand by our Jewish brothers and sisters. Anyone who abuses them abuses us all.”
Separately, Israel’s Ambassador to Germany, Ron Prosor, took to Twitter to denounce the “imbeciles” at the demonstration, accusing the protestors of “spitting into the well from which they drink.”
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