13:41 GMT +321 November 2019
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    People wear the Kippa as part of the Show Face and Kippa (Zeig’ Gesicht und Kippa) initiative in Frankfurt am Main, central Germany on May 14, 2018

    Jewish Activists Urge Berlin to Combat Anti-Semitism Amid Hate Crime Spike

    © AFP 2019 / Yann Schreiber
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    Late last week, police detained a group of young adults who attacked a Jewish-Syrian man in a Berlin park after they saw a Star of David on his neck.

    In an open letter on Wednesday, the heads of about 40 Jewish organizations based in Germany urged Berlin to clamp down on anti-Semitism, citing a spate of anti-Jewish attacks in the country, according to Haaretz.

    In the letter, the authors insisted that anti-Semitism should be recognized as "an attack on the inviolability of human dignity and on the foundations of the entire liberal democratic community."

    READ MORE: German Council Warns Against Wearing Jewish Headwear due to Anti-Semitism

    According to them, this recognition is in line with the International Alliance for Holocaust Remembrance’s definition of anti-Semitism, which they warned "cannot be successfully fought as a mere subcategory of racism."

    "Anti-Semitism, racism and Islamophobia cannot be equated," the letter underlined.

    Additionally, the authors stressed the necessity of all non-government organizations, including Muslim ones, to only receive funds "if they have publicly distanced themselves from all forms of anti-Semitism."

    READ MORE: 'New Phenomenon': Merkel Sheds Light on Arab Migrants' Anti-Semitism

    The letter's publication came several days after seven men and three women, aged between 15 and 25, including six Syrians and three German nationals, were detained after beating up a passer-by in a Berlin park.

    Police said that the assailants were subsequently released, but investigators dealing with politically motivated crimes have taken over the case.

    READ MORE: Pink Floyd Legend Roger Waters Demands That Munich Retract Anti-Semitism Claims

    In another development last week, a 19-year-old Syrian migrant was found guilty of an April attack against an Israeli man who was wearing a Jewish kippah skullcap on a street in Berlin.

    Over the past two years, more than one million refugees, many of them Syrians, have flooded Germany, as Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the country's borders.

    Merkel's open-door policy has been widely criticized, and helped the anti-migrant Alternative for Germany party take third place in last year's parliamentary elections.


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