German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas paid a special visit to a Chabad synagogue in Berlin over the weekend to show support for the county’s Jewish community, two weeks after the city’s rabbi was attacked.
Wearing a kippah, Maas, who is considered an Israel ally, said, “Anti-Semitism did not creep in here overnight, but it has become more vocal and aggressive. If Jewish women and men are worried about displaying their Jewishness in public—it is a disgrace to the state.”
He emphasized that “we stand here physically together because of what happened to Rabbi [Yehuda] Teichtel two weeks ago. It is intolerable and unbelievable. I do not want him to stand alone without support.”
German police have opened an investigation after Teichtel reported being spat on and cursed by two Arabic-speaking men late last month.
Gideon Joffe, the chairman of Berlin’s Jewish community, said, “We have a Jewish high school here in Berlin. Every third child studies in this school because they suffered harassment at the non-Jewish public schools. I say this without embellishing things: Here in Berlin, in the year 2019, our high school is full of Jewish refugees.”
In recent months, Germany has reported a 14% increase in anti-Semitic incidents in Berlin since last year, when 1,083 such incidents were reported.
This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.