Massive marches in Europe against anti-Semitism: thousands of people mobilized in Belgium and Germany

A group of people hold banners reading “Anti-Semitism kills” and “I am Jewish”, during a demonstration against anti-Semitism, in Brussels (REUTERS/Johanna Geron) (JOHANNA GERON/)

Thousands of people marched this Sunday in Belgium and Germany to protest against antisemitismat a time when anti-Jewish attacks are increasing in Europe in the context of the war in the Gaza Strip between the Israeli Army and the Hamas terrorist group.

The demonstrations in Brussels and Berlin are the latest of several in European capitals to express support for local Jewish communities. There were also previously marches in Paris and London.

In Brussels there were signs saying “You don’t have to be Jewish to march against anti-Semitism,” “anti-Semitism kills,” and other slogans. Police estimated that about 4,000 people attended.

Joel Rubinfeldpresident of the Belgian League against Anti-Semitism, reported that in his country there has been “an enormous increase” in anti-Semitic hatred since the most recent war between Israel and Hamas broke out on October 7.

“We live in an extremely complicated time”he said, adding that the march “sends a message to the Jewish community in Belgium that they are not alone.”

Thousands of people mobilized in Brussels to protest against anti-Semitism (REUTERS/Johanna Geron)
Thousands of people mobilized in Brussels to protest against anti-Semitism (REUTERS/Johanna Geron) (JOHANNA GERON/)

The demonstration toured emblematic places, such as the Jewish Museum where an attack in 2014 left four dead, and the Great Synagogue of Brussels.

In a statement, the Belgian Minister of Justice, Paul Van Tigcheltassured the participants in the demonstration that each complaint of anti-Semitism would be subject to systematic judicial follow-up and that this hate speech and acts would be combated “on all fronts.”

Meanwhile, thousands of people marched against anti-Semitism in Berlin.

Police estimated that about 3,200 people braved the rain and participated in the march in the German capital, while organizers estimated there were about 10,000, German news agency DPA reported.

The march, under the motto “’Never again’ is now”moved to the Brandenburg Gate.

A person carries an Israeli flag during a protest against anti-Semitism at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin (REUTERS/Lisi Niesner)
A person carries an Israeli flag during a protest against anti-Semitism at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin (REUTERS/Lisi Niesner) (LISI NIESNER/)

A group that monitors anti-Semitism in Germany said in late November that it had documented a sharp increase in anti-Semitic incidents since the Hamas attack: a total of 994, a 320% increase from the same period a year earlier.

The leader of the Jewish community of Germany, Joseph Schustersaid that “anti-Semitism is a common practice in German society” and called for solidarity with Israel and the local Jewish community.

The German Minister of Labor Hubertus Heildeclared that too many people are silent on the issue: “We don’t need a decent, silent majority, what we need is a clear, loud majority that rises now and not later.”

The event had wide support, including from the head of the German parliament and the mayor of Berlin. Many of the participants, among whom there were also personalities from the world of culture and entertainment, carried Israeli flags.

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Ursula von der Leyen said that the war in Gaza cannot serve to justify anti-Semitism (AP Photo/Andy Wong) (Andy Wong/)

“Jews are afraid and feel abandoned. This feeling is not only a product of hatred, but also of silence and indifference,” declared the president of the lower house (Bundestag) of Parliament, Bärbel Baswhich also gave its support to the event.

The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said this Sunday that the war in Gaza cannot serve to justify the increase in anti-Semitism in the European Union. “There is no justification for the increase in anti-Semitism. No war, no political argument can excuse it,” Von der Leyen said during a celebration of Hanukkah, one of the main Jewish holidays, in a small tent installed between the European Commission building and the European Council, in Brussels.

(With information from AP and EFE)

Source-www.infobae.com