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Merkel Condemns Charged Protests Over US Decision To Recognize Jerusalem [VIDEO]

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Joshua Gill Religion Reporter
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned weekend anti-Israel protests in Germany where protesters burned Israeli flags over the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem.

There was “serious rioting” at the protests, Merkel said at a Monday press conference, and condemned them as displays of anti-Semitism, since protesters burned Israeli flags, which bear the Star of David, and shouted anti-Semitic slogans, according to AFP. Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, also condemned the weekend protests, calling the displays of hatred toward Israel and the Jews “shameful” and saying that Germany has a “particular responsibility toward Israel and Jewish people in general.”

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“One has to be ashamed when hatred of Jews is put on display so openly on the streets of German cities,” Seibert said, according to AFP.

Merkel’s address followed Seibert’s comments hours later after a meeting of the Christian Democratic Union party, calling the protests “serious rioting” and saying that despite disagreeing with President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem nothing could justify such behavior.

“We oppose all forms of anti-Semitism and xenophobia – no differences of opinion, including about the status of Jerusalem, justify such actions,” Merkel said. “The (German) state must use all the means at its disposal to stop this.”

Police detained 10 people and are investigating 12 for disturbing the peace and desecrating the flag of a foreign state after 1,200 anti-Israel and anti-American protesters marched in front of the U.S. embassy in Berlin on Friday, according to DW. Approximately 2,500 protesters marched in Berlin on Sunday, and also burned the Israeli flag and shouted anti-Semitic slogans.

Police said they will be keeping a close eye on future protests, according to AFP.

Germany’s legal protection of free speech did not extend to speech that encouraged racist violence and hatred, Seibert said.

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