update deskAntisemitism

Berlin synagogue firebombed, German chancellor condemns

The firebombs were thrown at the headquarters of the Kahal Adass Jisroel association.

Assailants threw two firebombs at the Kahal Adass Jisroel commuity center in Berlin, Oct. 18, 2023. Source: Kahal Adass Jisroel/Instagram.
Assailants threw two firebombs at the Kahal Adass Jisroel commuity center in Berlin, Oct. 18, 2023. Source: Kahal Adass Jisroel/Instagram.

Unknown persons hurled two Molotov cocktails at a Jewish community building in central Berlin early Wednesday as antisemitic violence surged across Germany in sympathy with the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz condemned the attack while visiting Egypt, saying that “we will never accept when attacks are carried out against Jewish institutions.

“It outrages me personally what some of them are shouting and doing, and I am convinced that Germany’s citizens are of the same opinion as me,” said Scholz, referring to celebrations within Germany in support of the terrorist assault on the western Negev.

Germany has banned pro-Hamas and most other pro-Palestinian demonstrations of the sort that have been seen across much of Europe and in parts of the U.S. and which often see expressions of antisemitism, verbal and otherwise.

Scholz said protection of Jewish institutions would be increased.

The firebombs were thrown at the headquarters of the Kahal Adass Jisroel association. They failed to reach the building and exploded on the pavement, police said.

No one was injured in the 3:45 a.m. attack on the building, which is under continuous police protection. Officers present were not able to apprehend the attackers.

Police detained a man who shouted antisemitic insults outside the building later on Wednesday, Kahal Adass posted on X, including video of the arrest.

Jews in Germany have faced violent attacks following the Hamas onslaught on Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip, which cost the lives of more than 1,400 Israelis, mostly civilians.

It reflects a surge of antisemitism, mainly from Germany’s growing Muslim community, which has seen a rapid influx of members due to the country’s asylum policy. Asylum seekers are mainly from Middle Eastern countries, primarily Syria, but also Afghanistan and Turkey, countries known for their anti-Israel and antisemitic populations.

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