The German government says it’s “ashamed” of weekend demonstrations against the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, which saw some protesters chant anti-Semitic slogans and torch Israeli flags.
Government spokesman Steffen Seibert tells reporters that although Berlin opposed the move by US President Donald Trump last week, it strongly condemns protests in German cities where “hatred” of Israel and Jews was expressed.
“At certain rallies over the weekend, slogans were chanted, Israeli flags were burned and slander against the state of Israel and Jews in general were spread which were shameful,” Seibert says. “One has to be ashamed when hatred of Jews is put on display so openly on the streets of German cities.”
Seibert noted that Berlin had a “particular responsibility toward Israel and Jewish people in general” because Nazi Germany slaughtered six million Jews in the Holocaust.
He says that while Germany protected a constitutional right to free speech and assembly, that freedom did not cover incitement of racial hatred or violence.
“It is important that we continue to stand up to all of that,” he says.