Chancellor hits back after pro-Palestinian activists scream ‘shitty Jews’ outside Gelsenkirchen synagogue; Austrian chancellor raises Israeli flag in solidarity; Gantz urges top social media platforms to quickly remove inciteful, false content

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman said Friday that Germany will not tolerate anti-Semitic demonstrations during protests over the ongoing violence between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

Anti-Israel protests in several cities this week have drawn concern and condemnation, particularly a protest outside a synagogue in Gelsenkirchen.

Pro-Palestinian protesters hurl anti-Semitic abuse outside a synagogue in the German city of Gelsenkirchen on Thursday
Pro-Palestinian protesters hurl anti-Semitic abuse outside a synagogue in the German city of Gelsenkirchen on Thursday (Photo: Screenshot)


A video showed dozens of protesters waving Palestinian and Turkish flags and yelling “shitty Jews.”

Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert said Friday that “anyone who uses such protests to scream their hatred of Jews is abusing the right to demonstrate.”

He added that “our democracy will not tolerate anti-Semitic demonstrations.”

Seibert said Merkel condemns Hamas’ ongoing firing of rockets at Israel and “nothing can justify such terror.”

He said the rocket attacks must stop immediately.

The German authorities warned Thursday warned of further protests in the country over the conflict between Israel and Gaza.

On Wednesday, German police detained more than a dozen men in three cities suspected of damaging a synagogue, burning Israeli flags and starting a fire at a Jewish memorial site.

הפגנה תמיכה ב ישראל שער ברנדנבורג ברלין גרמניה
A pro-Israel demonstration at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on Wednesday (Photo: AP)


“Security agencies expect intensifying protest activities by Palestinians in Germany as well as parts of the leftist movement,” an Interior Ministry spokesman said.

Some of the suspects in the earlier incidents told police that the conflict had motivated them to throw stones at a synagogue.

In neighboring Austria, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on Friday tweeted an image of the Israeli flag raised alongside the Austrian and EU flags over the government building in Vienna as a gesture of solidarity.

“Today the Israeli flag was hoisted on the roof of the Federal Chancellery as a sign of solidarity with Israel,” Kurz, who visited Israel last month, wrote in German.

“The terrorist attacks on Israel are to be condemned in the strongest way! We stand together by Israel’s side,” he said.

Justice Minister Benny Gantz on Thursday called on the chiefs of the major social media platforms to quickly remove content from their sites that incites violence or spreads disinformation.

לוחמים של יחידת הארטילריה של צה"ל מתאספים סמוך לגבול רצועת עזה
IDF troops on the Gaza border on Friday (Photo: AFP)


A spokesman for Gantz said he told executives of Facebook and TikTok during a Zoom meeting Thursday that the current round of violence is being “intentionally stirred through social media by extremist elements” sworn to damage Israel.

Gantz called the current round of fighting, “a moment of social emergency, and we expect your assistance.”

His spokesman said the executives expressed their commitment to act quickly and effectively to prevent incitement on their networks.

As reported by Ynetnews