Germany’s Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, on Tuesday said that refugees who find shelter in his country must reject anti-Semitism, The Associated Press reported.
According to the report, Steinmeier said that whoever comes to Germany has to accept that “anti-Semitism is against our constitution, against our civilization — against everything we believe in and everything we have learned.”
Speaking at a conference on anti-Semitism in Berlin, the German minister said that “there is and can be no place for anti-Semitism in our understanding of a free, democratic and tolerant Germany.”
The comments come as Germany has been debating how to integrate more than 1 million asylum-seekers who arrived last year, most of them Muslims from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Anti-Semitism has been a problem throughout Europe and has not skipped Germany, where during the 2014 war in Gaza, protesters waving Palestinian Authority flags (PA) shouted anti-Semitic slogans at rallies against Israeli military action.
Exclaiming “Allahu Akbar” (G-d is great), crowds in Berlin have reportedly yelled “Death to Israel” and chanted “Zionists are fascists, killing children and civilians”.
In one particularly shocking video, thousands of demonstrators could be heard chanting “Jew, Jew, cowardly pig, come on out and fight on your own”.
To top that, a Berlin imam has openly prayed for the annihilation of Zionist Jews, asking Allah to “kill them to the very last one.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted recently that anti-Semitism is “more widespread” in Germany than some believe.
Anti-Semitism, she said in January, is more “widespread than we imagine, and that’s why we have to make intensive efforts against it.” The Chancellor noted the negative effects of anti-Semitic propaganda online and attempts to combat it.