anti israel protest 248 88.
(photo credit: AP [file])
BERLIN - Pro-Israeli organizations, Jewish community leaders and a
representative of the Iranian opposition in Germany assembled in the heart of
downtown Berlin’s bustling shopping district on Saturday to protest against an
Iranian backed al-Quds Day march.
Jochen Feilcke, the head of
German-Israeli Friendship Society in Berlin and Potsdam, criticized the
“glorification of the Islamic Republic of Iran” by the al-Quds
“Once again, the participation of neo-Nazis and other
sympathizers of the mullah regime is expected and their goal is clear:
Expressions of solidarity with the Palestinians will be used as agitation
against Israel, the only free democracy in the Middle East,” Feilcke
The al-Quds demonstration has been an annual event in Berlin since
1996 and advocates the destruction of the Jewish state. Ayatollah Ruhollah
Khomeini established al- Quds Day in 1979 and it is now marked in the Islamic
Republic and throughout the Arab world by calling for the abolition of
“These are people who only accept veiled woman, punish
homosexuals, persecute political opponents and want to live according to
Shari’a,” Maya Zehden, a spokeswoman for the Berlin Jewish community, said of
the al-Quds Day protesters.
The “forces hostile to democracy, like
radical leftists and rightist as well as religious fundamentalists, are marching
with one goal: The destruction of Israel,” Zehden said.
“The people who
call themselves peace activists” have aligned themselves with the anti-Israeli
extremists, she said.
“Jewish institutions are receiving more threats in
the meantime from... people from the Middle East [German Muslims] than from
right-wing extremists,” Zehden said, addressing rising Islamic anti- Semitism in
“We expect our politicians to not allow themselves to agitate
against Israel,” she said, in a reference to the Bundestag’s resolution slamming
Israel for seizing May’s Gaza flotilla.
Zehden called on the German
government to to clarify its foreign policy and engage in a debate about
Dr. Kazem Moussavi, an Iranian living in exile in Germany,
spokesman for the German chapter of the Iranian Green Party and a member of the
Stop the Bomb coalition, called for the German government to “ban the
anti-Semitic al-Quds march of the Holocaust-denying regime and the activities of
its terror proxy organizations, Hamas and Hizbullah” in the Federal
Moussavi criticized German firms for supplying Iran with
technology for nuclear weaponry and drone fighter planes.
He cited a
September report in DerWesten, a newspaper in North Rhine-Westphalia
companies in the state propping up Iran’s military with made-in-Germany
He blasted the 14 percent increase in German exports to Iran
during the first half of 2010 over the same period in 2009.
American, French, and British diplomats have complained about the Merkel
administration’s failure to crack down on the trade relationship with
Critics at the pro-Israel rally said that despite UN, EU and US
against Iran, German firms continue to defy sanctions seeking to force
end its nuclear program.
A Berlin police spokesman told The Jerusalem
that around 500 people appeared at the al-Quds Day. A police
the anti-al-Quds protest told the Post that 150 people protested against
Jörg Fischer-Aharon, an organizer of the protest
against al-Quds Day, said that 400 people attended the event.
pro-Islamic Republic march intersected with the Israel rally, a number
Islamists lunged at a demonstrator waving an American flag. Police