Antisemitism will be spread in the streets of Berlin as soon as tomorrow. The German authorities allowed the annual ‘Al Quds March’ to go ahead, a rally dedicated to hating Israel and wanting to erase it.
Berlin imposed restrictions on the rally. Burning flags is not allowed. Neither is calling for violence. Promoting Hezbollah or similar organizations is forbidden as well, according to German-language media reports. The participants of the antisemitic ‘Al Quds March’ will probably not care.
A ban would not have stuck in court, the Berlin authorities believe. But Andreas Geisel, the city state’s Senator of the Interior, conceded this was “one of the most disgusting events in Berlin.” He commissioned translators who are supposed to establish whether the participants spread antisemitic hate speech.
The ‘Al Quds March’ itself will start at Berlin’s ‘Adenauerplatz’ square on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.. Two counter-protests were organized as well:
- At 12 noon, an ‘Antifascist Protest Against the Al Quds Day’ is scheduled to commence at the U-Bahn station ‘Wilmersdorfer Straße’
- At 3 p.m., a rally called ‘Against the Al Quads March!’ takes place at ‘George-Grosz-Platz’
At this stage, it is unclear how many officers Berlin’s Police Directorate and the Federal Police intend to put on the streets in order to avoid violence.
Several organizations, including the Central Council of Jews in Germany and the Jewish Forum, have criticized the decision to let the Al Quds event go ahead. Both the federal government and the Berlin authorities needed to fight antisemitism and Islamism in a more persistent way, the organizers of one of the counter-protests said.
The ‘Al Quds March’ was initiated by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979.
Felix Klein, Germany’s Coordinator Against Antisemitism called on the Germans to wear Kippahs on Saturday, in order to show solidarity with Israel and the Jews. Just days before Klein had said wearing Kippahs in Germany was not safe anymore.
Antisemitism in Germany is still on the rise. It is spreading in far right and far left circles, and among Islamists.
Several discussions related to antisemitism are going on in Germany these days. One is about whether Jews can wear Kippahs safely or not, another about Hezbollah. The German government refuses to label it a terrorist organization. Like Brussels, Berlin makes a difference between its military arm and a supposed political division. The U.S., Israel and others do not.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is in Berlin today, just praised Germany’s steps against antisemitism. Nobody should give in to this kind of prejudice, Pompeo stated.