Al-Quds Day, named for the Arabic name for Jerusalem, was launched in Iran in 1979 to express support for the Palestinians and to oppose Zionism and Israel. International events subsequently followed. The annual al-Quds Day march in Berlin is frequently cited as a prime example of the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe.
Despite attempts by organizers to suppress expressions of anti-Semitism, the march features frequent calls about killing Israelis and Zionist conspiracies as well as the flags of terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. “Under the guise of ‘Israel criticism,’ they use classic anti-Semitic stereotypes, identifying Israel as having ‘Jewish characteristics’: ‘domineering,’ ‘greedy’ or a ‘child killer,’” said sociologist Imke Kummer.
Independent watchdog groups have discovered that some of the incidents documented at the al-Quds Day march in Berlin have been classified by authorities as forms of far-right anti-Semitism, politicizing them. “It means we can’t really use the official statistics on anti-Semitism in Germany,” Daniel Poensgen, a researcher at the Department for Research and Information on Anti-Semitism, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
Germany’s Interior Ministry did not respond to requests for comment.
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