German officials announced on Monday that more than 3,500 crimes emanating from the Oct. 7 Hamas pogrom in southern Israel have been recorded, at least 14 percent of which can be considered unambiguously antisemitic.
At a joint press conference on Monday at the Berlin headquarters of the Joint Counter-Terrorism Center, where federal and state authorities exchange information on threats to national security, Nancy Faeser, Germany’s Interior Minister, and Holger Münch, president of the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), disclosed that a total of 3,532 crimes related to the Hamas onslaught six weeks ago have been reported.
Of these, 500 were clearly antisemitic, mainly perpetrated by Islamists, Münch said. Approximately 30 percent of the crimes involved vandalism or damage to property, with another 15 percent categorized as incitement. “The number of violent crimes is in the mid three-digit range. That is also high,” he said.
Münch warned that while there was no intelligence suggesting an imminent threat to Jewish institutions, “the potential for escalation is great.” He noted as well that there had been a 47 percent increase in antisemitic incidents in Germany during the last four years, some of which came from the far right, but much of which can be pinned on “foreign religious ideologies” — a reference to Islamist extremism.
Faeser, who has expressed support for the deportation of Hamas supporters in Germany who are not permanent residents, separately decried the “disgusting terrorist propaganda” promoted by supporters of Hamas, pledging to retain pressure on social media platforms to shut down pro-Hamas accounts. A total of 98 channels on the Telegram channel have been shut down at the urging of the BKA, while the total number of requests to shut down offending accounts across all social media platforms was 500.
Monday’s press conference came on the eve of the first meeting in nearly two years of the German Islamic Conference (DIK), an umbrella body created in 2006 to bring together the leadership of Muslim communities in Germany. The two-day parley will address the theme of “combating antisemitism and anti-Muslim hostility in times of social division.”
The meeting will not include representatives of the Central Council of Muslims (ZRM), whose secretary-general, Abdassamad El Yazidi, issued a much-criticized statement on Oct. 8 which failed to condemn Hamas outright for its onslaught against Israeli civilians. The ZRM also faced strong disapproval for allegedly dithering over the suspension of the Islamic Center of Hamburg (IZH), a Shi’a organization supported by the Iranian regime that has been closely monitored by the federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution. The IZH from the Council was suspended only after a search of its facilities by police officers.
Speaking to broadcaster DW on Monday, El Yazidi insisted that it was “unfair and insulting” to portray the ZRM as supporting Hamas. However, he added, he regretted his statement of Oct. 8, saying that “it would have been better to condemn the barbarism of Hamas, make one point and [make the other point] later.”
In a separate interview on Monday, the newly-appointed Mayor of Munich, Domink Krause, said that the authorities in the Bavarian capital would adopt a similar stance to radical Muslim organizations as with the far right.
“We should not work with those communities that are radical, just like we don’t work with right-wing extremist organizations,” Krause told the Abendzeitung news outlet.
Asked whether he was playing into the hands of right-wing parties by highlighting Muslim antisemitism when he himself is on the left of the Green Party, Krause demurred. “It was always clear to me that I would take a clear stance on a wide variety of discrimination and attacks on democracy,” he said. “And that should apply to everyone — beyond the political camps. I also find it problematic when groups from the left of the political spectrum now begin to organize against Israel.”
Krause added that he had been talking to contacts in Be’er Sheva, the Israeli city twinned with Munich. “At the moment, everything is heavily influenced by concern about the hostages, concern about the military operation, and how the situation will develop further,” he said.
He added that “there is also a lot of compassion for the Palestinian civilian population, but also the very clear statement: As long as Hamas is there, there will be no peace, neither for the Palestinians nor for the Israelis. Action must now be taken against Hamas. What should not be forgotten is that rockets are still flying towards Israel — Be’er Sheva is relatively close to the border with the Gaza Strip, and there was also destruction there.”
Krause’s Green Party colleague, federal Food and Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir, also criticized Germany’s Muslim leadership on Monday, emphasizing the role played by Ditib, a Turkish Muslim organization that commands the loyalties of 900 imams across Germany.
Ditib is in turn supervised by Diyanet, the Turkish government’s Directorate of Religious Affairs, whose head, Ali Erbas, was denounced by Özdemir as “simply an antisemite.” Erbas recently described Israel as a “rusty dagger in the heart of the Muslim world.”
Diyanet reports directly to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose barbs against Israel have multiplied since Oct. 7. Erdogan flew to Germany last week for an official visit that brought fresh German media attention on the activities of Turkish lobby groups in the country.
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Protester Sets Self on Fire Outside Israeli Consulate in Atlanta
i24 News – A protester was in critical condition on Friday after setting themself on fire outside the Israeli consulate in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. authorities said. A security guard who tried to intervene was also wounded.
A Palestinian flag found at the scene was part of the protest, Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said at a news conference. He added that investigators did not believe there was any connection to terrorism and none of the consular staff was ever in danger.
JUST IN: A pro-Palestine protester is in critical condition after they set themselves on fire in “political protest” outside of the Israeli Consulate office in Atlanta.
The protester was reportedly draped in a Palestine flag.
The protester has severe burns and unfortunately, a… pic.twitter.com/B8nUQAj2nU
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) December 1, 2023
“We do not see any threat here,” he said. “We believe it was an act of extreme political protest that occurred.” Everyone inside the consulate building was said to be safe.
Anat Sultan-Dadon, Consul General of Israel to the southeastern U.S., said: “We are saddened to learn of the self-immolation at the entrance to the office building. It is tragic to see the hate and incitement toward Israel expressed in such a horrific way.”
“The sanctity of life is our highest value. Our prayers are with the security officer who was injured while trying to prevent this tragic act. We are grateful to the city of Atlanta’s law enforcement and first responders for all they do to ensure safety.”
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Released Israeli Hostages Call for Captives to Be Freed
Israeli hostages released in the past week by Hamas in Gaza called on Saturday for the immediate release of fellow captives left behind, a day after a temporary truce that had allowed scores to come home broke down.
Tens of thousands gathered at a rally in Tel Aviv outside Israel‘s defense headquarters, where they cheered Yelena Trupanov, 50, standing on a stage just two days after being freed.
“I came to thank you because without you I wouldn’t be here. Now we must bring back my (son) Sasha, and everyone. Now.”
Similar pleas from other released hostages were shown on video.
A seven-day truce, during which Hamas had released more than 100 hostages, collapsed on Friday after Hamas breached the ceasefire.
Israel said on Saturday it had recalled a Mossad intelligence agency team from Qatar, host of indirect negotiations with Hamas, accusing the Palestinian faction of reneging on a deal that would have freed all children and women held hostage.
More than 240 people – Israelis and foreign nationals – were abducted to Gaza on Oct 7. by Hamas terrorists who burst through the border with Israel and killed 1,200 people.
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IDF Foils Stabbing Attack Near Nablus in West Bank, Eliminates Terrorist
i24 News – The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported thwarting a stabbing attack on Saturday afternoon against reserve Battalion 7037 at the X junction near Nablus in the West Bank.
According to the IDF spokesperson, the event unfolded when the forces at the roadblock became suspicious of an individual approaching the barricade.
During the questioning process, the suspect suddenly drew a knife and advanced towards the IDF personnel.
ניסיון פיגוע דקירה אירע לפני זמן קצר לעבר כוח צה”ל במילואים מגדוד 7037 שפעל בחסם בצומת האיקס סמוך לעיר שכם שבמרחב חטיבת שומרון.
הכוח חשד במחבל שהגיע לחסם והחל לתחקר אותו, המחבל שלף סכין והחל להתקדם לעבר הכוח.
הלוחמים חתרו למגע והגיבו בירי לעבר המחבל שחוסל. אין נפגעים לכוחותינו. pic.twitter.com/mEaJs58hpE
— דובר צה״ל דניאל הגרי – Daniel Hagari (@IDFSpokesperson) December 2, 2023
The soldiers, faced with the threat, engaged in contact procedures and ultimately responded by opening fire on the assailant. The spokesperson confirmed that the attacker was neutralized due to the IDF’s action.
It was also noted that there were no casualties among the IDF forces involved in the incident. According to the spokesperson, the situation at the X junction has stabilized, and IDF continues to maintain vigilance in the area to prevent further attacks.
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