TÜBINGEN: 600 PEOPLE TAKING A STAND AGAINST ANTI-SEMITISM

The banners read “No To Anti-Semitism“ or “Raise Your Voice Against Jew Hatred“ More than 600 people marched from the Memorial of the former Synagogue that had been destroyed in 1938 to the Market Square of Tübingen with banners and Israel flags.

The “Alliance for Solidarity with Israel“ had called for this demonstration. Passers-by spontaneously joined the peaceful and cheerful procession. The relaxed atmosphere even permitted the handful of counter-demonstrators with their Palestinian flag to enter into a calm conversation with the participants of the demonstration.

At the final gathering on the Market Square, the speakers found clear words for the serious issue. In his introduction, organizer Jobst Bittner spoke about the latent anti-Semitism in the heart of German society and about the importance of raising one's voice. He challenged the participants to “leave behind indifference“ and to “break the silence“. Stephan J. Kramer, head of the AJC Initiative on Anti-Semitism in Europe,  spoke about the dangers of anti-Semitism for Jews, Germany and democracy in Europe. “It is not enough to have learned from history, and to have memorials every year - we have to do something about it!” In the context of the war in Gaza, he called for clear solidarity with Israel. “If you take a stand against anti-Semitism in Europe, but leave Israel out in the rain, in the rain of rockets to be precise, you can“t claim to truly have taken a stand against the hunt for Jews.“ But Kramer also emphasized that objective criticism of Israeli politics, as it is practiced fervently in Israel itself, is not anti-Semitism. The mayor of Tübingen, Boris Palmer, shared his own childhood experiences with anti-Semitism. As a teenager, he was chased out of the public swimming pool with the words, “They only forgot to gas your dad.“ Palmer, whose grandfather had been Jewish, thanked every participant of the demonstration and expressed his respect.

At the end of the speeches, ten participants of the demonstration came to the stage to explain why they had raised their voices against anti-Semitism and Jew hatred. Some shared about their ancestors who had been involved in the Holocaust, others spoke about personal experiences with anti-Semitism. After a Jewish dance by a Tübinger dance group, the rally ended with hundreds of blue and white balloons with the word “Shalom“ ascending into the bright evening sky over Tübingen - with little note cards attached, stating the theme of the day, “Never Again Anti-Semitism And Jew Hatred - Solidarity with Israel".

See the report of a regional news station: swrmediathek.de/player.htm

The Call for the Demonstration:

Never Again Anti-Semitism And Jew Hatred! Solidarity with Israel!

When: Thursday, July 31, 2014
Start: at the Memorial at the former Synagogue, Gartenstr. 33, Tübingen 5:00 pm
Rally:  on the Market Square in front of the Town Hall at 5:30 pm

When slogans like "Child Murderer Israel" and "Jew, Jew, cowardly pig, come out and fight alone“ can be heard in cities all across Germany, this is crossing a red line. When Jews are no longer safe on Europe's streets and when they are physically attacked, it is high time to raise our voices.

In the face of recent anti-Semitic slogans at demonstrations and rallies, German President Joachim Gauck called for more moral courage. "I want to challenge all Germans, and everybody living here, to keep raising their voices whenever there is new  anti-Semitism that struts about our streets."

70 years ago, throughout all of Europe Jews were demonized, ostracized, disenfranchised, and murdered by Germans from all spheres of society. Since that time, there have not been anti-Jewish demonstrations of the kind we are seeing again today. We are calling everybody to say a timely “NO!“ to anti-Semitism and Jew hatred on our streets 2014!

Organizer: Alliance for Solidarity with Israel

Supporters:

·         Christen an der Seite Israels e.V.

·         Initiative 27. Januar e.V.

·         Internationale christliche Botschaft Jerusalem - Deutscher Zweig e.V.

·         Israelitische Religionsgemeinschaft Württembergs K.d.ö.R. (IRGW)

·         German Media Watch

·         Helping Hand Coalition - Global Forum

·         MdL Daniel Lede Abal

·         Marsch des Lebens

·         Tübinger Initiative gegen Antisemitismus und Antizionismus

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