Gaza Protests In Germany Stir Debate Over Anti-Semitism

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Pro-Israel protesters yell at demonstrators celebrating Al-Quds Day, an event intended to express solidarity with the Palestinian people, on July 25, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. Pro-Palestinian demonstrators marched through Berlin, closely watched by police for any expressions of anti-Semitism and separated from smaller pro-Israel rallies. (Adam Berry/AFP/Getty Images)

Across Europe, the conflict between Israel and Gaza has sparked large protests, including in Germany, home to around four million Muslims, or 5 percent of the population. Dozens of demonstrations against Israel’s policy in Gaza have been held across the country over the last few weeks.

But because Nazi Germany engineered the Holocaust, many Germans today feel uncomfortable criticizing Israel.

And the protests have sparked a fierce debate about whether the country is a seeing a rise in anti-Semitism. BBC Berlin correspondent Damien McGuinness says guilt over the Holocaust has made supporting Israel a “doctrine of faith” for much of Germany.

Note: This BBC piece can be heard in the Here & Now podcast or with the WBUR app.


  • Damien McGuinness, correspondent for the BBC in Berlin, Germany.
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