Merkel Condemns Anti-Semitic Protests in Germany, Backs Israel

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Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned anti-Semitic protests in Germany and added her support to Israel amid escalating military tensions with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

A protest in the western German city of Gelsenkirchen this week gained national attention after videos emerged of a group chanting anti-Jewish slogans. The group of about 180 -- some of whom carried Palestinian and Turkish flags -- demonstrated in front of the local synagogue before dispersing after police blocked their path.

“Times in which Jews are insulted in public streets should be long in the past,” the Central Council of Jews in Germany said on Twitter.

While all people in Germany are free to express their political views, “our democracy will not tolerate anti-Semitic protests,” Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said Friday in Berlin. He said the chancellor condemns the “terror attacks” on Israel in the “strongest possible terms.”

The police in Gelsenkirchen, which came under criticism for not intervening, said their main focus was to protect the synagogue. An investigation is under way on the people behind the unannounced demonstration.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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