Germany’s Jewish community has reacted with shock to a stone-throwing attack by Muslim children as young as 10 on a Jewish dance troupe performing at a Hanover festival, media reported Thursday.
About 30 children and youths, largely of Lebanese, Palestinian and Iranian descent, threw stones at the dancers on Sunday, shouting “Jews out!” daily Berliner Morgenpost reported. The youths were aged from 10 to 15, the paper reported. The dance troupe, named Chaverim – Hebrew for “friends” – broke off their performance after one of their members was hit in the leg by a stone and lightly injured.
Lower Saxony Integration Minister Aygül Özkan said through a spokesman she was “deeply shocked” by the incident. Charlotte Knoblauch, president of the German Jewish Council, said the incident showed “a new social provocation, which already in the past weeks is clearly visible as it hasn’t been before.” Anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic feelings were evidently simmering among Muslim youths living in Germany, she said, adding that this case “saddens me especially because these anti-Semitic attitudes are encountered already in children and youths with this vehemence.”
Aiman Mazyek, chairman of the Central Council of Muslims, condemned the incident in the strongest terms in an interview with Spiegel Online. He called for Islamic solidarity with anyone – whether Jewish, Christian, Muslim or Atheist – who has suffered from injustice. Mazyek also pointed out that hatred and anti-Semitism had no place in Islam.