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Germany: Jewish community calls for more progress against anti-Semitism

Berlin, 16.9.2014 15:57, (ROMEA)
The Memorial to Europe's Holocaust Victims in Berlin. (PHOTO: Zdeněk Ryšavý)
The Memorial to Europe's Holocaust Victims in Berlin. (PHOTO: Zdeněk Ryšavý)

The Central Council of Jews in Germany has called on police to more thoroughly combat manifestations of anti-Semitism online. Speaking in an interview for the Bavarian newspaper Passauer Neue Presse, Dieter Graumann, the head of the Jewish organization, said many authors of anti-Semitic content use their real names online.

The Council is convening a demonstration in Berlin this Sunday. "It would not be difficult at all to indict [the online anti-Semites]. Detectives must intervene consistently," Graumann said.  

"Sometimes the extent and the lasciviousness of the incitement against us on the blogs makes me sick. Neither I nor other Jewish people in Germany have ever experienced being targeted with so much hatred and resentment here," Graumann claims.

The Central Council of Jews in Germany is convening a demonstration in Berlin this Sunday to draw attention to manifestations of hatred toward Jewish people. Speakers at the Brandenburg Gate will include German President Joachim Gauck, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, chair of the German Conference of Bishops Cardinal Reinhard Marx, and Nikolaus Schneider, president of the council of the Evangelical Church in Germany.

Thousands of people are expected for Sunday's demonstration, which will also be attended by other celebrities and politicians, including Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, the chair of the Social Democrats. German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière told news server Bild-online he will attend the demonstration because he wants "Jewish people to be glad they live in Germany."

One of Sunday's expected speakers, World Jewish Congress chair Ronald Lauder, warned Europeans yesterday that they subject their countries to the risk of tarnished reputations when they vote for ultra-right politicians. He also expressed concern that Islamists would attempt to use every means possible, particularly the internet, to incite hatred, and noted the threat posed by radicalized Muslims returning from Iraq and Syria.

The Associated Press reported that the May elections to the European Parliament brought success to ultra-right parties, particularly in France. "One extremist representing a country puts the whole land in a negative light," Lauder told the AP.

According to the Deutsche Presse-Agentur, during Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip this summer, demonstrations were held in Germany and other European countries during which verbal attacks on Israel and against Jewish people were repeatedly heard. Lauder said he believes anti-Jewish demonstrations have been attended by just a small percentage of European Muslims; what he finds very disturbing are "political agitators on the side of Muslim extremists who are doing their best to exploit every means possible, especially through the internet, to incite people."

"We want to show people that we will not let ourselves be terrorized, we will not let them take our courage from us. The message is:  Jewishness has a future in Germany," Graumann said of the upcoming demonstration in Berlin.

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Antisemitismus, Germany, Internet, intolerance



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