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BERLIN – A synagogue in the city of Worms, in Rhineland-Palatinate state, was attacked by arsonists on Monday.
The vandals left a note linking their torching of the synagogue with the Israel-Palestinian conflict, the regional paper *Wiesbadener Kurier reported. German police found eight copies of a note written in “awkward” German, claiming responsibility for the blaze.
“So long as you do not give the Palestinians peace, we are not going to give you peace,” read the note.
Prosecutor Klaus-Peter Mieth said the authenticity of the note was still an open question.
Authorities said there was no serious damage to the synagogue.
Levi Salomon, who heads a task force combating anti-Semitism for the 12,000-member Berlin Jewish community, told The Jerusalem Post it could not be ruled out that German-Palestinians set the synagogue afire.
While there are no current statistics on the rise of Islamic anti-Semitism in Germany, Salomon said he had observed an increase in expressions of Muslim-based anti-Semitism. Observers said the attackers could be from the extreme Left, neo-Nazis or radical Islamists, because what unites these groups is their hatred of Israel.
Stella Schindler-Siegreich, the head of the Jewish community in Mainz,
traveled to Worms and told the *Kurier, “We are a small minority in
Germany and we have a such a history.”
Germans destroyed the synagogue in Worms in 1938 and it was rebuilt in
1961. In contrast to many Jewish institutions in Germany, the Worms
synagogue does not have a police presence or barricades, according to
Schindler-Siegreich. The synagogue was built in 1034.
The Jewish Cemetery in Worms, dating from the 11th century, is believed
to be the oldest in Europe. The Rashi Shul, a synagogue dating from 1175
and carefully reconstructed after its desecration on Kristallnacht, is
the oldest in Germany. Prominent rabbis from Worms include Shlomo
Yitzhaki (Rashi), Elazar Rokeach and Yair Bacharach. At the Rabbinical
Synod held at Worms in the 11th century, rabbis for the first time
explicitly prohibited polygamy.