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German Court Rules that Firebomb of Synagogue Was Not Motivated by Anti-Semitism

A German court ruled last week that an firebomb attack on a synagogue in the city of Wuppertal in July was motivated by a desire to bring “attention to the Gaza conflict,” not anti-Semitism, Benjamin Weinthal reported Saturday in The Jerusalem Post.

Weinthal, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, reported:

A German court in the city of Wuppertal convicted two German Palestinians on Thursday of an arson attack on a Synagogue but denied the crime was motivated by anti-Semitism, prompting Green Party deputy Volker Beck to urge the court to designate the act as anti-Semitic.

The Wuppertal court sentenced the two men, ages 24 and 29, to a suspended prison term of one year and three months. The two men, along with an 18-year-old juvenile, in July tossed Molotov cocktails at the synagogue in Wuppertal, a city in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia with a population of nearly 344,000. The court ordered all three to perform 200 hours of community service.

The judge’s ruling “[stated] that the goal of the attack was to bring ‘attention to the Gaza conflict.'”

The firebombing caused 800 euros worth of damage to the synagogue. The synagogue in Wuppertal had been burned by the Nazis in 1938.

A Jewish man who attended the trial, Leonid Goldberg, had a different view:

“If you ask me, it was pure anti-Semitism. There were more than enough signals last July. All demonstrations were against Israel – and not just against Israel, against Jews. It was just a matter of time, that this atmosphere would produce attacks against a Jewish house of worship.”

Ironically, The Times of Israel reported last week that a judge in Essen, Germany ruled recently that anti-Zionism was a form of anti-Semitism. The judge told the defendant, “‘Zionist’ is the language of anti-Semites, the code for ‘Jew.’”

The anti-Israel protests in Germany this past summer prompted a historic rally against anti-Semitism in Berlin this past September.

In The Global Pogrom, which was published in the August 2014 issue of The Tower Magazine, associate editor Benjamin Kerstein observed that the conflict in Gaza this summer led to a dramatic increase in anti-Semitism:

Genocidal rhetoric was not confined to Belgium. It also appeared in, of all places, Germany. One would have thought that, in the post-Shoah age, Germany had lost the right to allow such things to occur. But this was not the case. A report from the Times of Israel states, “In Dortmund and Frankfurt anti-Israel protesters chanted, ‘Hamas, Hamas, Juden ins gas!’ (‘Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas!’). On Friday, a 200-strong mob in Essen chimed in, ‘Scheiss Juden!’ (‘Jewish shit’).”

In Berlin, once the seat of the Nazi regime, “An angry mob gathered” to spew language that would have enchanted the late Fuhrer. “Draped in Palestinian flags and shaking their fists in rage, they chanted in German, ‘Jude, Jude feiges Schwein! Komm heraus und kämpf allein!’ (‘Jew, Jew, cowardly swine, come out and fight on your own!’).”

[Photo: outis999 / YouTube ]