BERLIN – Right-wing radicals attacked a booth distributing pro-Israel materials
at the “I Like Israel” event in the west German city of Siegen on Saturday,
resulting in physical injuries to two women and a man, according to the news
The veteran German journalist Ulrich Sahm reported on n-tv’s
website that the public prosecutor investigating the assault said a 25-year-old
right-wing extremist was arrested.
Roger Bückert, head of the pro-Israel
group “neveragain” and an organizer of the booth, told n-tv that he was “not
surprised but nonetheless shocked.”
The assault involved four to five
masked anti- Israel radicals who are believed to be active in the neo-Nazi
political scene. “I Like Israel” is a nationwide annual event that blankets 64
German cities and towns to promote solidarity with the Jewish state and
celebrate its Independence Day – with the head of Germany’s Central Council of
Jews, Dr. Dieter Graumann, serving as a patron.
According to n-tv, there
have been verbal tirades against Israel supporters at the I Like Israel event in
the past, but not physical attacks.
The n-tv report noted that Paul
Breuer, director of the police department in the Siegen- Wittgenstein region,
condemned the act – calling it an act of “extreme right-wing physical and
psychological violence against peaceful people.”
It is unclear if the
poem and anti-Israel statements by the German Nobel laureate Günter Grass played
a role in the hostile climate toward Israel in Siegen. Grass attacked Israel as
the main threat to world peace in early April, and his anti-Israel poem
unleashed a wave of hate in online news forums, according to polls.
Stawski –chairman of I Like Israel, head of the Frankfurt-based pro-Israel media
watchdog organization Honestly Concerned, and one of Germany’s most prominent
supporters of Israel – issued a statement on Saturday slamming the attack, as
well as the police for failing to prevent it.
“The perpetrators were
probably only warned and not penalized,” Stawski said.
has observed and monitored an alarming number of anti-Semitic and anti-Jewish
incidents in the Federal Republic that have failed to result in legal
consequences for the criminal offenders, he noted.