February 21, 2024

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Massive rallies in Europe against anti-Semitism: Thousands rally in Belgium and Germany

Massive rallies in Europe against anti-Semitism: Thousands rally in Belgium and Germany
A group of people hold up banners reading “Anti-Semitic murders” and “I am Jewish” during a demonstration against anti-Semitism in Brussels (REUTERS/Johanna Geron).

Thousands of people marched in Belgium and Germany this Sunday Against bigotryAnti-Semitic attacks in Europe are on the rise amid the ongoing war in the Gaza Strip between the Israeli military and the Hamas terrorist group.

The demonstrations in Brussels and Berlin are the latest in a series of demonstrations in European capitals To convey support to local Jewish communities. Earlier, marches were also held in Paris and London.

There were boards in Brussels “You don’t have to be Jewish to march against anti-Semitism,” “anti-Semitic murders,” and other slogans. Police estimated around 4,000 people attended.

Joel RubinfieldThe head of the Belgian League Against Anti-Semitism has reported an “enormous increase” in anti-Semitism in his country since the most recent war between Israel and Hamas broke out on October 7.

“We live in very complicated times”He said the march “sends a message to the Jewish community in Belgium that they are not alone”.

Thousands rally in Brussels against anti-Semitism (REUTERS/Johanna Geron)

The demonstration toured iconic sites such as the Jewish Museum and Brussels’ Great Synagogue, where four people were killed in an attack in 2014.

In a statement, the Belgian Minister of Justice said, Paul Van DixeltHe assured the participants of the demonstration that every complaint of anti-Semitism would be subject to proper judicial monitoring and that these hate speech and actions would be combated “on all fronts”.

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

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

Marching under the slogan “‘Never Again’ Is Not Now”Went to Brandenburg Gate.

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

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

Head 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.

German Labor Minister Hubertus HeilHe declared that many were silent on the issue: “We don’t need a polite, silent majority, we need a clear, loud majority, now, not later.”

The event received wide support, including the Speaker of the German Parliament and the Mayor of Berlin. Many of the participants, among them figures from the world of culture and entertainment, carried Israeli flags.

Ursula van der Leyen says the war in Gaza cannot justify anti-Semitism (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

“Jews are afraid and feel abandoned. This sentiment is not only the result of hatred, but also the result of silence and indifference,” declared the president of the lower house of parliament (Bundestag). Bärbel BasIt also extended its support to the event.

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President of the European Commission, Ursula van der Leyen, said this Sunday that the war in Gaza cannot justify a rise in anti-Semitism in the EU. “There is no justification for the rise of anti-Semitism. No war, no political argument can excuse that,” van der Leyen said during the celebration of Hanukkah, one of the main Jewish holidays, in a small tent set up between the European Commission building and the European Council in Brussels.

(With information from AP and EFE)