'Permit to Attack Jews on Basis of Anti-Zionism'

Jewish leaders in Germany plan to appeal court verdict that motive of anti-Semitic attack on synagogue was only 'anti-Zionism.'

Cynthia Blank,

European Muslims (illustration)
European Muslims (illustration)

Jewish community leaders plan to appeal the ruling of a German court that the perpetrators of an anti-Semitic attack on a synagogue should be released from custody. 

According to the court, the two defendants' motives stem from anti-Zionism, not anti-Semitism - as a result they were released pending trial. 

The attack took place last summer during Operation Protective Edge. The pair, both of Palestinian Arab origin, threw firebombs at a synagogue in Wuppertal. Fortunately, none of the worshippers were injured. 

"The damage was mainly to the property, but this story reflects the readiness of Muslim extremists to act out against Jews," Rabbi Avichai Appel, the Chairman of the Orthodox Rabbinical Conference of Germany, told Walla! News. 

Indeed, the paper reports that anti-Semitic attacks on Jewish institutions have multiplied steadily in the past month. 

Among other instances, a pig's ear was placed at the entrance to a synagogue in Eisleben, swastikas were sprayed at the entrance to a Jewish cemetery in Oldenburg, and anti-Semitic graffiti was found adjacent to an apartment building in Bad Betrich. 

According to Appel, Wuppertal's Jewish community will appeal the court's decision regarding the motives of the two perpetrators. 

"The verdict is basically a permit to attack Jews on the basis of anti-Zionism. This puts us in danger," Appel warned. "We expect an understanding that these anti-Semitic activities were carried out under the guise of anti-Zionism."

In 2014, the number of anti-Semitic incidents in Germany almost doubled. Germany's Justice Minister, Heiko Mass, called the increase in anti-Semitic attacks "shocking."

"Any attack against Jews is an attack on all of us. All anti-Semitic incidents are an attack on our fundamental values. Whoever attacks Jewish lives should not expect any tolerance, but will be punished to the full extent of the law."