German Jews in Frankfurt reject religious panel for hatred of Israel

Ünal Kaymakci from the Islamic Religious Community accused Israel on Facebook of “state terrorism.”

May 21, 2015 22:01
1 minute read.
Frankfurt skyline

The Frankfurt skyline. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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The Jewish community of Frankfurt rejected a re-affiliation with the Council of Religions in the city because of anti-Israel comments from the group’s Muslim members.

“The conflict has been smoldering since last summer,” when the Frankfurt Jewish community pulled the plug on its council membership, the Frankfurter Rundschau daily reported on Wednesday.

Leo Latasch, head of social affairs for the Jewish community, told the newspaper he sees no foundation for continued work in the council.

The Rundschau wrote that “after anti-Semitic statements at a pro-Palestinian demonstrations in Frankfurt,” the Islamic Religious Community of Hesse state, of which Frankfurt is the largest city, said the debate over Jew-hatred should not be used to distract attention from the “war crimes of the Israeli government.”

Ünal Kaymakci from the Islamic Religious Community accused Israel on Facebook of “state terrorism.”

Sacha Stawski, a member of the Frankfurt Jewish community, told The Jerusalem Post the community “acted exactly right and it is sad that the members of other religious communities have not clearly positioned themselves in favor of the Jewish community.

“Politics has in fact no role in this council and the polarization definitively did not come from the Jewish community, which has since then intensively sought dialogue,” said Stawski, who heads the media watchdog organization Honestly Concerned, which monitors anti-Semitism in the German media.

He added that community did not leave the council because of simple “criticism” of Israel, rather because the anti-Israel statements crossed redlines. He called on the members of the council to show support for the Jewish community.

Uwe Becker from the Christian Democratic Union party, who is the city’s treasurer and responsible for church affairs, said he hopes for a solution to the dispute, Rundschau reported.

During the IDF’s Operation Protective Edge against Hamas in the Gaza Strip last summer, Frankfurt saw a plethora of anti-Semitic incidents. Swastikas were smeared on the Baumweg Synagogue. A rabbi was threatened on the telephone and a window of the home of Jewish woman was broken. The Frankfurt police allowed anti-Israel protesters at a march in July to use their megaphone to scream “Allah is great” and “Children murderer Israel.”

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