Police intervene after security men at Berlin tourism fair harass Israeli stand

Police pulled three security guards away on Thursday afternoon after they marched on the Israeli stand at the ITB Berlin tourism fair shouting “Free Palestine.”

Police intervene after security men at Berlin tourism fair harass Israeli stand
ITB Berlin. Photo: DPA

The men, who were employed at the ITB Berlin fair by a private security firm, surrounded the Israeli tourism board's stand and shouted “Free Palestine” and “Freiheit für Palästina”, according to Tagesspiegel.

Police pulled the men away and they were later suspended from their jobs.

According to witnesses spoken to by Tagesspiegel, the three men appeared to be of Arabic background.

ITB Berlin, the world's largest tourism fair, is attended by roughly 11,000 exhibitors from 180 countries.

Berlin police have previously said that men who work for private security firms in the capital occasionally have connections to radical mosques.

There has been recent concern about a rise in anti-Semitism in Berlin’s immigrant neighbourhoods after Israeli flags were burned at an anti-Israel demo late last year. However police statistics show no recent rise in anti-Semitic crime in Germany.

SEE ALSO: Let's be careful before we talk about rising anti-Semitism in Germany


Former Israeli soldier attacked on Berlin street

A former Israeli soldier was attacked in the German capital Berlin, police said Saturday, with one or several unknown assailants spraying him with an irritant and throwing him to the ground.

Former Israeli soldier attacked on Berlin street
Israeli soldiers on operation near the Gaza Strip. Photo: dpa | Ilia Yefimovich

The 29-year-old was wearing a top with the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) logo when the attackers started harassing him on Friday about his religion, the police added, calling it “an anti-Semitic attack”.

Officers are seeking the assailants, who fled immediately after the attack, on suspicion of a politically-motivated crime.

Saturday is the second anniversary of an attack by a far-right gunman on a synagogue in the eastern German city of Halle, who killed two in a rampage when he failed to break into the house of worship.

It was one of a string of incidents that led authorities to declare the far right and neo-Nazis Germany’s top security threat.

Also this week, a musician claimed he was turned away from a hotel in eastern city Leipzig for wearing a Star-of-David pendant.

While the allegations prompted a fierce response from a Jewish community unsettled by increasing anti-Semitic crimes, several investigations have been mounted into contradictory accounts of the incident.

In 2019, police recorded 2,032 anti-Semitic crimes, an increase of 13 percent year-on-year.

“The threat is complex and comes from different directions” from jihadists to the far right, the federal government’s commissioner for the fight against anti-Semitism Felix Klein said recently.