Status: May 12, 2021 2:46 p.m.
The state security is investigating attacks on Jewish facilities in Münster, Bonn and Düsseldorf. Politicians condemn the incidents, the police are increasing security.
Flags burned in front of synagogues in Münster and Bonn
Representatives of the church and state politics have condemned the attacks on several Jewish institutions in North Rhine-Westphalia in the past few days, some sharply. In front of synagogues in Bonn and Münster groups of people lit Israeli flags on Tuesday evening, and stones were also thrown at the entrance to the synagogue in Bonn.
Already on Monday evening a stranger had in Düsseldorf a fire was set on a memorial stone for a former synagogue. In Münster and Bonn, the police were able to locate the suspects and the state security authorities are under investigation. In Düsseldorf, the investigators are currently evaluating evidence, but there are promising indications of the perpetrator.
Police increase security
After the incidents, the police increased the security precautions in front of Jewish institutions in several cities in North Rhine-Westphalia, for example with increased patrols, including in Krefeld, Duisburg and Essen. North Rhine-Westphalia Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU): “We take the situation very seriously. We have been ramping up the security measures since the attack in Hanau and have now again sensitized all authorities.”
Laschet condemns attacks
“We immediately took protective measures today,” said NRW Prime Minister Armin Laschet (CDU). “Anti-Semitism, exclusion and discrimination have no place in Germany and North Rhine-Westphalia,” said Laschet. It is also part of the German raison d’etre to protect Jewish life in Germany. “Our commitment is: Never again. Never again violence and hatred against Jews,” emphasized Laschet. “We stand on the side of Israel.”
“There is no place for anti-Semitism in NRW,” said NRW Transport Minister Hendrik Wüst (CDU) on Twitter.
Christof Rasche, chairman of the FDP parliamentary group in the NRW state parliament, made a similar statement. State Parliament President André Kuper (CDU) was concerned about the incidents: “We condemn the actions in Düsseldorf, Bonn and Münster. Our history should make us aware: There are no flags or memorials burning here, but the heartfelt desire for peace and democracy burns in us Near East!”
The anti-Semitism commissioner of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, condemned the incidents sharply. “Acts of violence against Jews and Jewish institutions are not a form of protest and are not acceptable,” said Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger. Everything possible must be done to protect memorials and the lives of Jews in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Central Council of Jews and Bishops’ Conference warn of growing anti-Semitism
The chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference Georg Bätzing and the President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany made a joint press release. Bätzing was shocked: “It must not be allowed that a political conflict is connected and charged with religious fanaticism. Attacks on synagogues are pure anti-Semitism that cannot be justified.” Schuster warned against growing anti-Semitism – Especially in times of the pandemic, anti-Semitic conspiracy myths spread: “This anti-Semitism must be fought consistently and sustainably.”
Background: Confrontations in Israel?
The state security is now examining, among other things, whether the acts in North Rhine-Westphalia are related to the violent clashes between Israelis and Palestinians in the Middle East.
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