As part of an experiment, reporters for the German tabloid Bild were sent Monday to hang Israeli flags in several locations in major German cities to see what would happen to them. The results of the experiment reveal Israel’s problematic situation in the country, along with posing some serious questions relating to German society.
It emerges that every one of the flags was taken down, some in a very demonstrative way. A few were spat on beforehand, one ended up in the garbage can and another was the victim of a failed torching attempt.
The flags displayed along major arteries in the cities of Berlin, Munich, Dusseldorf and Frankfurt were all torn down within 90 minutes.
Berlin chalked up the “record” when after only 42 minutes, one of the flags was taken down, the fastest time in Munich was 61 minutes and in Frankfurt, it was 81 minutes – with bystanders all the while looking angrily at the flags before they were ripped down.
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Similar experiments were carried out in other cities, including Nieder-Olm and Duisburg, where it took 138 minutes and 148 minutes, respectively, for the flags to be removed.
Reactions to the experiment, which was widely reported on social media, were fast in coming. Among those who reacted was the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. “The tearing down of the Israeli flag is something we will not tolerate in Germany,” Maas asserted. “We will clearly stand against any form of anti-Semitism.”
In addition, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said in response that there should be “zero tolerance” for offensive displays of anti-Semitism.