Envoy to Berlin urges Germany to outlaw burning of Israeli flag

Massive anti-Israel protests unfolded in Berlin after the US government on December 6 recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

December 16, 2017 17:34
2 minute read.
burning flag

People shout slogans against Israel while burning a makeshift Israeli flag during a protest against Trump's Jerusalem declaration, in front of the Syndicate of Journalists in Cairo, Egypt December 7, 2017. . (photo credit: MOHAMED ABD EL GHANY/REUTERS)

BERLIN – Ambassador to Germany Jeremy Issacharoff on Friday called for a change of the law in the Federal Republic to prohibit the burning of the Israeli flag.

“It is anti-democratic and in the case of Israel it can even be very antisemitic,” said Issacharoff.

“That is something that I do not wish to see [Israeli flags burned] in Europe and in no way in Berlin,” said the 62-year-old envoy, who took up his post three months ago.

He said that he had up until now only seen the burning of Israeli flags in places such as Tehran, “where there is no tolerance.”

Issacharoff seeks a general ban of the torching of all foreign flags in Germany. The Federal Republic currently bars the burning of only the German flag.

Massive anti-Israel protests unfolded in Berlin after the US government on December 6 recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The protests were largely attended by German Muslims who burned Israeli flags and yelled antisemitic slogans, including “Death to the Jews.”

Issacharoff stressed that Israeli flags engulfed in flames were the worst for him at the demonstrations in Berlin. “It is not about whether one agrees with Israel’s position in any question.

It is about the fact that Israel’s existence is negated here. These things should be stopped today in Germany because Germany has become a very democratic and tolerant society,” said the envoy.

Germany’s government, according to critics, has been nonchalant in its efforts to rope in the growing antisemitism in the country. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s interior minister, Thomas de Maizière, rebuffed Israeli and German lawmakers who urged him in June to ban Hezbollah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in Federal Republic.

German authorities allowed last week the PFLP to celebrate in Berlin the 50th anniversary of its founding.

The US, Israel and the EU classify the PFLP as a terrorist entity. The US, the Arab League, Israel, the Netherlands and Israel designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

Germany and the EU have labeled Hezbollah’s so-called military wing a terrorist organization.

Merkel’s administration has declined to stop flights of Kuwait Airways following the airline’s decision to bar an Israeli from flying because of his nationality. The Green Party Bundestag deputy Sven-Christian Kindler told the Bild newspaper on Sunday that “the reserved position of the federal government toward Kuwait and its airline is shameful in view of their [Kuwait’s] antisemitic practice.”

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