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Germans must protect the Jews – Scholz

The citizens should show the “civic courage” of standing up to anti-Semitism, the chancellor said

German citizens must ensure the protection of all Jews living in the country from the wave of anti-Semitic attacks sparked by the Israel-Hamas war, Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said.

“Anyone who is attacking Jews in Germany is attacking all of us. That’s why we should all stand up for the protection of Jews in Germany. It’s about civic courage,” Scholz told the Mannheimer Morgen newspaper over the weekend.

Scholz added that Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck “has formulated the position of the entire federal government very well in his video on social media.” 

In an 10-minute address published on Wednesday, Habeck lamented that “too few” German Muslims had taken a stand in defense of the Jews at home and against the actions of the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which killed some 1,400 people, mostly civilians, during its October 7 incursion into Israel.

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Habeck further called on the Muslim community to distance itself from the manifestations of anti-Semitism, which increased dramatically following the most recent outbreak of violence in the Middle East.

Speaking to Mannheimer Morgen, Scholz said that Berlin was working with Israel and “using all contact in the region to facilitate the unconditional release of all hostages” held by Hamas. 

German officials treat anti-Semitism as an acute problem in society, seeing combating hate crimes against the Jews as a way to atone for the Holocaust. This week, Interior Minister Nancy Fraeser announced a ban on the activities of Hamas, which is listed as a terrorist organization in Germany. 

 

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