Berlin: Rally against anti-Semitism shouted down

Israeli flag snatched away from demonstrators as rally against anti-Semitism cancelled after just 15 minutes amid safety fears.


German police, Berlin (file)
German police, Berlin (file)
Chen Leopold/Flash90

A small Berlin rally against anti-Semitism was called off by its three members Wednesday when angry counter-protesters shouted "terrorists", spat at participants and snatched away an Israeli flag,
organisers said.

Police said the tiny demonstration in Neukoelln district, the heart of the capital's Muslim community, ended early after the trio were shouted down by "loud and emotional" opponents and feared for their safety.

The rally was cancelled after just 15 minutes, said Levi Salomon of the Jewish Forum for Democracy and Anti-Semitism in an emailed statement that included video footage of a young man snatching an Israeli flag and running off, and of another spitting at a demonstrator.

Germany, which has been rocked by a series of ugly anti-Semitic incidents, on Wednesday saw a series of rallies with hundreds of marchers in various cities to show solidarity with Jews.

"We must never allow anti-Semitism to become commonplace in Germany again," said Foreign Minister Heiko Maas ahead of a "Berlin Wears a Kippa" event where more than 2,000 Jews and non-Jews wore the traditional skullcap in a shared show of defiance.