European Crowds Protest Antisemitism

Activists say hatred has grown since the Israel-Hamas war began
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 10, 2023 12:40 PM CST
Brussels, Berlin Rallies Protest Growing Antisemitism
A protester, right, holds a sign reading "Union against anti-Semitism is strength" during a demonstration in Brussels on Sunday.   (AP Photo/Nicolas Landemard)

Thousands of people marched in the Belgian and German capitals on Sunday to protest soaring antisemitism since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. The demonstrations in Brussels and Berlin were the latest in a series of rallies in European capitals that have expressed support for Jewish communities, the AP reports. Previous marches in Paris and in London drew tens of thousands of people. There have also been many pro-Palestinian rallies, often drawing large crowds. Marchers at the Brussels rally held up signs reading "You don't have to be Jewish to march against antisemitism," "antisemitism kills," and other slogans. Police said at least 4,000 people attended.

Joël Rubinfeld, president of the Belgian League Against Antisemitism, said Belgium has witnessed "a huge increase" in anti-Jewish hatred since the Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas that triggered the war. "We are living in a very complicated period," he said, adding that the rally sends "a message to the Jewish community of Belgium to tell them that they are not alone." Meanwhile, several thousand people demonstrated against antisemitism in Berlin as Germany also deals with a large increase in anti-Jewish incidents following the Oct. 7 attack. Police estimated that around 3,200 people gathered in the rain, while organizers put the figure at 10,000, German news agency dpa reported.

(More antisemitism stories.)

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