German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas made a special visit to a Chabad synagogue in Berlin in a show of support for the county’s Jewish community over the weekend, 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, “We stand here physically together because of what happened to Rabbi [Yehuda] Teichtal 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 Teichtal reported he had been spat on and cursed at by two men speaking in Arabic 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.