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Berlin March Protests Rising Anti-Semitism

Two people were killed near a synagogue in Halle
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 13, 2019 10:43 AM CDT
Berlin March Protests Rising anti-Semitism
Flowers and candles are set in front of the synagogue in Halle, Germany, on Sunday.   (Hendrik Schmidt/dpa via AP)

(Newser) – Thousands of people have protested in Berlin against an increase anti-Semitism, days after a man attacked a synagogue in the eastern German city of Halle. More than 6,000 people participated in the march through the German capital Sunday, the AP reports. The rally was organized by the civil rights group Unteilbar, or "indivisible," under the slogan, "We stand united." Several thousand also protested Saturday in cities including Hamburg and Marburg. Many Germans are in shock over the attack, in which two people were killed outside the synagogue and in a kebab shop. The 27-year-old, heavily armed suspect tried but failed to enter the house of worship on Yom Kippur, Judaism's holiest day. The Halle attack has renewed concerns about rising far-right extremism and questions about the slow police response.

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Jewish leaders had been warning about an increase in assaults by migrants from the Middle East, including opponents of Israel, per the Wall Street Journal. "We see it on the right, on the left, in Islamism, and in mainstream society," said Remko Leemhuis of the American Jewish Committee in Berlin. "Right now it feels like it’s coming from everywhere." The government reported 1,799 anti-Semitic offenses last year, almost 20% more than in 2017. But many incidents aren't reported, Jewish organizations said. Leaders complained that, unlike the practice in most large cities in Germany—especially on Yom Kipper—the synagogue attacked Wednesday wasn’t receiving police protection. (Read more anti-Semitism stories.)

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