MAllegedly anti-Jewish slogans at a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Berlin have sparked widespread outrage. According to the Berlin Senator for the Interior, Iris Spranger (SPD), the state security police began investigations into hate speech on Monday.
The federal government’s anti-Semitism commissioner, Felix Klein, called for consistent punishment of criminally relevant behavior: “It must be clear to all social groups that such hatred and hate speech will be punished in Germany,” he said on Monday “Zeit online”. Klein also called for “clear instructions to the police on how to react in such cases”.
Buschmann speaks of hate speech
After the allegations became known, Berlin’s interior senator condemned anti-Semitic threats and statements: “Hate has no place in our society,” she emphasized on Twitter on Monday.
Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann (FDP) said on Twitter: “If groups chant “Death to the Jews” on German streets, then there is an initial suspicion of hate speech under Section 130 Paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code.” He assumes that the security authorities will act accordingly.
As part of the investigation, video material is being evaluated, a police spokeswoman said on Monday on request. According to them, around 500 people demonstrated in solidarity with the Palestinians and against Israel in the Kreuzberg and Neukölln districts of Berlin on Saturday. 250 police officers were deployed, including interpreters.
The documentation and analysis platform “Democ” reported on Sunday that anti-Israel, anti-Semitic and violence-glorifying slogans were shouted at the demonstration. The background to the protest march was, among other things, the ongoing conflicts surrounding the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. “Democ” published video material on Twitter that is supposed to show the demonstration.
Israeli ambassador condemns protesters
The Israeli Ambassador to Germany, Ron Prosor, condemned the demonstrators with sharp words. They abused Germany’s freedoms and unreservedly called for the annihilation of Israel and the Jews, he said on Twitter on Sunday evening. Prosor also accused the demonstrators of disregarding democratic values in Germany. Not only did they cross every red line, but they “spit into the well they drink from.”
The Berlin Evangelical Bishop Christian Stäblein emphasized on Twitter: “Anti-Semitism must not be on the streets of Berlin. We must stand up against this hatred. We stand by our Jewish brothers and sisters. Whoever reviles them reviles us all.”
The German-Israeli Society called on Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) to consider banning the anti-Israeli network Samidoun. The organization had visibly participated in the mobilization for the demonstration.
The deputy federal chairman of the German police union, Manuel Ostermann, called the demonstration “a picture of shame”. Anti-Semitism must be fought in Germany with all legal means.
The Al-Kuds march planned for next Saturday in Berlin had already been canceled last week. A “Quds AG” had registered 2,000 participants for the annual demonstration of enemies of Israel, anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers. The route should lead over Berlin’s Kurfürstendamm.