Germany’s interior minister on Tuesday challenged Muslim associations in Germany to condemn antisemitism without reservation as she reminded the community’s representatives that support for the State of Israel is a German “raison d’etat” — a non-negotiable element of the country’s foreign policy.
“Whoever wants to become a citizen of this country must know that,” Nancy Faeser declared during a speech to the two-day meeting in Berlin of the German Islamic Conference (DIK) on the theme of “combating antisemitism and anti-Muslim hostility in times of social division.”
The issue of antisemitism among the more than 5.5 million Muslims in Germany has become a national focus in the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas pogrom in Israel. On Monday, Faeser and Holger Münch, president of the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), revealed that a total of 3,532 crimes related to the Hamas onslaught six weeks ago have been reported, most of them perpetrated by Muslims.
Faeser’s speech to the DIK came as police in the southern state of Bavaria carried out raids on the homes of 17 people accused of spreading antisemitic hate speech and threats targeting Jews online. A statement from the Bavarian police provided details on three of the suspects, two of whom are dual citizens of Turkey and Germany. In an example of the venomous rhetoric pushed by the suspects, a message posted by one of them stated that the “sons of the Jews deserve nothing less than to be slaughtered and wiped out.”
In her speech on Tuesday, Faeser observed that “a spark is often enough for words of hatred to become acts of violence.” Calling on the Muslim associations gathered at the conference to combat antisemitism “even more visibly,” she argued that gestures of solidarity, such as visiting synagogues, were not enough, and that the state needed reassurance that extremist messages would not be spread during sermons in the country’s mosques.
Faeser specifically referenced the recent appearance of Abdul Bari Omar, a senior official of Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban, at a mosque in Cologne affiliated with Ditib, a Turkish-German Islamic association controlled by the Turkish government. “Can you guarantee that something like this will not happen again?” she asked pointedly.
The interior minister also emphasized that Israel has an inherent right to defend itself. “There is no ‘but’ when it comes to the terrible terrorist attacks of Hamas,” she said.
Faeser also spoke out against general bigotry targeting Muslims, expressing concern at the finding of a recent interior ministry report that one in two Germans harbors hostility towards Muslims. “We must not give room to those who declare Muslims to be the cause of all evil,” Faeser stated. “Whoever now creates a mood against Muslims under the pretext of combating antisemitism seeks to divide us.”
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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