Muslim youths in Germany throw stones at Jewish street performers
BERLIN - Jewish dancers staging a street performance in Hanover, Germany were attacked by a group of stone-throwing Muslim youths, German police said yesterday.
According to police, the assailants were young people of Lebanese, Palestinian and Iranian origin. They reportedly threw stones at the dancers and taunted them by yelling phrases like "Juden raus" ("Jews out" ). The performance had to be stopped, and two of the attackers - aged 14 and 19 - were arrested.
Hanover Mayor Stephan Weil described the incident as "unacceptable." Aygul Ozkan, social affairs and integration minister for the local government of Lower Saxony, said she was seriously concerned by the incident. Ozkan last year became the first minister of Turkish-Muslim origin to be appointed in Germany.
Charlotte Knobloch, chair of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said the incident posed a new social challenge to Germany. "I'm saddened this anti-Semitic attack involved children and young people," she said.
Police noted this was the first anti-Semitic incident in Hanover this year to have been committed by someone other that right-wing extremists.
Juliane Wetzel, of the Bundestag committee against anti-Semitism, said she was not surprised by the incident. "Jews in Germany have faced violent attacks for years, especially in light of the conflict in the Middle East," she said.
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