Thousands protest against anti-Semitism in Berlin as Germany grapples with a rise in incidents


BERLIN (AP) — Several thousand people demonstrated against anti-Semitism in Berlin on Sunday, as Germany grapples with a major surge in anti-Semitic incidents since the Hamas attack on Israel two months ago.

German news agency dpa reported that police estimated that about 3,200 people gathered in the rain in the German capital, while organizers had put the figure at 10,000. Participants in the protest titled "Never Again" marched to the Brandenburg Gate.

A group Tracking anti-Semitism in Germany It said in late November that it had recorded a sharp increase in anti-Semitic incidents in the month following the Hamas attack – a total of 994, a 320% increase compared to the same period a year earlier.

Germany's main Jewish leader, Joseph Schuster, said that "anti-Semitism is common among society in Germany," and he called for solidarity with Israel and with Jewish life in Germany.

Germany's Labor Minister Hubertus Heil said that many civilized people are very quiet on this issue. He said, "We don't need a polite, silent majority – we need a clear and loud majority that stands up now, not later."

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The event received widespread support, with the speaker of the German parliament and the mayor of Berlin among its supporters.

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