Following a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Berlin over the weekend, German police have launched an investigation into the event, during which participants were heard chanting anti-Semitic and anti-Israel statements. The use of such rhetoric is illegal in Germany.
The demonstration, which was organized by the pro-Palestinian group Samidoun, was attended by around 500 mainly Muslim individuals in the Kreuzberg and Neukölln neighborhoods of Berlin. Footage captured by independent NGO Democ. showed some demonstrators chanting “Death to the Jews” and “Death to Israel,” while others could be heard chanting “With our blood and our spirit, we will liberate you, Al Aqsa,” a reference to the mosque in eastern Jerusalem where recent clashes have taken place between Palestinians and Israeli security forces.
The scenes at the demonstration have been widely condemned by prominent politicians in Germany. Interior Minister Nancy Faeser expressed her condemnation, describing the slogans as “highly inhuman, anti-Semitic and anti-Israel.” Faeser also stressed the importance of quickly identifying and holding accountable those responsible for the offensive chants. Manuel Ostermann, the deputy federal chairman of the German police union, also condemned the demonstration, calling it a “picture of shame.”
Israel’s Ambassador to Germany, Ron Prosor, strongly criticized the event. Prosor took to Twitter to express his views in German, stating that the rally participants were abusing the freedoms granted to them in Germany. He further added that such behavior not only crossed every possible red line but also “spitted in the brown well from which they drink.”
The two neighborhoods where the rally was reported to have taken place are known to have a significant Muslim population.