'Anti-Semitism in Germany has developed a life of its own'

Jewish man targeted in anti-Semitic incident identified as Rabbi of Berlin's Jewish community, Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal.

David Rosenberg,

Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal speaks with Sawsan Chebli (archive)
Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal speaks with Sawsan Chebli (archive)
REUTERS

The Rabbi of the Jewish community in Berlin was harassed and spit on in the German capital city this week, following a similar incident in the city of Potsdam west of Berlin.

The incident occurred last Saturday, German media outlets reported, after Rabbi Teichtal led a prayer service in a synagogue in the Wilmersdorf district of western Berlin.

After he left the house of prayer, Rabbi Teichtal was confronted by two Arabic-speaking men.

The two men spit on Rabbi Teichtal and hurled anti-Semitic epithets.

Rabbi Teichtal was with one of his children at the time of the incident.

Police say they have opened an investigation into the incident.

Rabbi Teichtal said that anti-Semitism had “developed a life” of its own in Germany, but emphasized that most Germans remain committed to uprooting anti-Semitism.

"Unfortunately we have to state that the aggressions against Jews have developed a life of their own both in the schoolyards and on the streets of Berlin,” said Rabbi Teichtal.

“But I remain convinced that most people in Berlin do not want to accept this aggression against Jews as a sad part of everyday Jewish life. Most people in Berlin want Jewish people to be able to live their Judaism openly without being afraid of being insulted, spat at or even beaten. Of course we will not hide now, but continue to build on love, tolerance, dialogue and education.”




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