Due to the tragic situation in Gaza and the gross violation of human rights and international law, Muslims (without any clear organizational affiliation) have addressed the atrocities effecting the Palestinian civilian population by demonstrating in various cities. Parts of the demonstrators, however, forwarded anti-Semitic slogans sparking public debate about the nature of such rallies, about anti-Semitism in Muslim communities and the lack and limit of a legitimate critique focusing on Israel. Micha Brumlik, well-known philosopher and educator, warned against a new “quality” of anti-Semitism influenced by the war in Gaza. Focusing on anti-Semitism from Arabic-Muslim background in particular, Brumlik suggested to immediately increase educational work and interreligious dialogue as well as claimed Muslim organizations to extent their engagement with this issue as well. Wolfgang Benz, established historian and director of the Center for Research on Antisemitism, however, warned against exaggerating the issue and didn’t see any new “quality” of anti-Semitism in Germany. Aiman Mazyek, chairman of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany (ZMD), explicitly answered the public concerns regarding anti-Semitism in Muslim contexts in an interview by condemning anti-Semitism, racism and the exploitation of the situation in Gaza by Islamic radicals, respectively. As an effect of these and related debates, the Islamic Community Milli Goerues (IGMG) together with the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB) organized a rally in Berlin. Equally the Islamic Religious Association Hesse (IRH) formed a coalition with the Palestinian community in Hesse as well as with the European Jews for Just Peace and condemned anti-Semitism, agitation and xenophobia along with the systemic destruction of Gaza, the killing of civilian population in Palestine, the illegal Israeli occupation and settlements as well as the blockade of the Gaza Strip by Israel and Egypt since 2007. The Islamic Religious Association Hesse had invited several non-Muslim speakers including Janine Wissler (Member of the Landtag of Hesse) and Athenagoras Ziliaskopoulos (Minister of the Greek Orthodox Church in Frankfurt).
On demonstrations and Anti-Semitism:
From Anti-Semitism to a legitimate political critique of Israel