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Antisemitic incidents have surged 320% in Germany since Oct. 7, watchdog finds

(JTA) — Germany has seen antisemitic incidents surge 320% since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, according to a federal agency’s report released on Tuesday.

The Federal Association of Departments for Research and Information on Antisemitism, known in Germany as RIAS, tracked 994 antisemitic incidents between Oct. 7 and Nov. 9. That average of 29 cases per day exceeds last year’s RIAS tally during the same period by more than 300%.

The group recorded three cases of “extreme violence,” which it defines as attacks that can result in a loss of life or serious bodily harm, whether successfully committed or attempted. One such incident occurred on Oct. 18 in Berlin, when two Molotov cocktails were thrown at a Jewish community center that houses a synagogue as well as a kindergarten.

The report also listed 29 attacks, 72 incidents of targeted damage to property, 32 threats, four antisemitic mass mailings and 854 cases of offensive behavior over the month-long period.

While the largest number of incidents took place on the street, online or in public buildings, RIAS recorded 59 in people’s homes or living environment. These cases left a particularly marked impact on residents who felt they could no longer retreat to a safe refuge, said RIAS. In one instance, an Israeli national was accosted by two men for hanging an Israeli flag on his balcony. When he refused to remove it, they forcefully entered his apartment, took the flag and punched him in the face.

Other buildings that house Jewish people have been marked with Stars of David and swastikas.

In response to the wave of attacks, some are hiding their identity. RIAS said that Jewish life is becoming less visible in Germany, as Jews refrain from wearing identifiable symbols and speaking Hebrew in public.

Germany’s unique relationship with Israel is tied to its 20th-century genocide of the Jews, which weighs heavily on the state’s identity. Shortly after the Hamas attack, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz described the security of Israel in an address to the Bundestag as Germany’s “reason of state.”

State authorities have cited this obligation in their crackdowns on pro-Palestinian demonstrations, as public pressure boils over the war’s mass casualties in Gaza. Some areas have banned rallies and public statements in solidarity with Palestinians. In Berlin, education senator Katharina Guenther-Wuensch authorized schools to ban the keffiyeh scarf and the phrase “Free Palestine.”

Some prominent Jewish figures in Germany have decried these clampdowns as counterproductive, including “Unorthodox” author Deborah Feldman.


The post Antisemitic incidents have surged 320% in Germany since Oct. 7, watchdog finds appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Treasure Trove: Remembering Yoni Netanyahu, a heroic soldier and leader

Jonathan (Yoni) Netanyahu was the older brother of Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister. He was the commander of the Entebbe Operation on July 4, 1976 when Israel rescued 102 hostages who had been on a flight hijacked by Palestinian and German terrorists and ordered to land in Entebbe, Uganda. Yoni was the only Israeli soldier killed in […]

The post Treasure Trove: Remembering Yoni Netanyahu, a heroic soldier and leader appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Pope Condemns Anti-Judaism, Antisemitism Amid New Wave of Attacks Against Jews

Pope Francis waves after delivering his traditional Christmas Day Urbi et Orbi speech to the city and the world from the main balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, December 25, 2021. Photo: REUTERS/Yara Nardi

Pope Francis condemned all forms of anti-Judaism and antisemitism, labeling them as a “sin against God,” after noticing an increase in attacks against Jews around the world.

“(The Church) rejects every form of anti-Judaism and antisemitism, unequivocally condemning manifestations of hatred towards Jews and Judaism as a sin against God,” the pontiff wrote in a letter to the Jewish population of Israel dated Feb. 2 and made public on Saturday.

“Together with you, we, Catholics, are very concerned about the terrible increase in attacks against Jews around the world. We had hoped that ‘never again’ would be a refrain heard by the new generations,” he added.

The Pope noted that wars and divisions are increasing all over the world “in a sort of piecemeal world war,” hitting the lives of many populations.

Francis, 87, has condemned Hamas’ Oct. 7 cross-border attack from Gaza into southern Israel. He has also said on several occasions that a two-state solution was needed to put an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In his letter, the pope also called, once again, for the release of those hostages still being held by militants.

He said his heart was torn at the sight of the conflict in the Holy Land and the division and hatred stemming from it, adding that the world was looking at the unfolding of events in the area with “apprehension and pain.”

He assured the Jewish community of his closeness and affection, “particularly (those) consumed by anguish, pain, fear and even anger,” repeating his call for the end of the war.

Francis said he prayed for peace. “My heart is close to you, to the Holy Land, to all the peoples who inhabit it, Israelis and Palestinians, and I pray that the desire for peace may prevail in all.”

The post Pope Condemns Anti-Judaism, Antisemitism Amid New Wave of Attacks Against Jews first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Israel Says It Has Struck More than 50 Hezbollah Targets in Syria Since Oct 7

Israeli soldiers take part in training session near the Israel border with Syria at the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, February 1, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Gil Eliyahu/File Photo

The Israeli military said on Saturday that since the outbreak of the Gaza war on Oct. 7 it had struck more than 50 targets in Syria linked to the Iranian-backed Lebanese terror group Hezbollah.

The remarks, in a briefing by chief military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari that mainly discussed efforts to beat back Hezbollah attacks launched in solidarity with Hamas, were a departure from Israel’s usual reticence about Syria operations.

“Everywhere Hezbollah is, we shall be. We will take action everywhere required in the Middle East,” Hagari said.

Israeli forces have attacked 34,000 Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, including 120 border surveillance outposts, 40 caches of missiles and other weaponry and more than 40 command centers, Hagari said. He put the number of enemy dead at more than 200.

Hagari said Israel had deployed three army divisions along its side of the Lebanese border in anticipation of Hezbollah getting involved after Palestinian Hamas launched a shock cross-border attack on Oct. 7, triggering the war in the Gaza Strip.

With tens of thousands of its northern residents having evacuated, Israel has threatened to escalate the Lebanon fighting unless Hezbollah backs off from the border – and has sought Western help in finding a diplomatic solution in Beirut.

The post Israel Says It Has Struck More than 50 Hezbollah Targets in Syria Since Oct 7 first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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