Berlin anti-Semitic video ′completely outrageous,′ says Germany′s justice minister | News | DW | 21.12.2017
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Germany

Berlin anti-Semitic video 'completely outrageous,' says Germany's justice minister

Germany's justice minister has condemned a video showing a Berlin man hurling anti-Semitic abuse at a restaurant owner. The incident comes as lawmakers express concern over increased instances of anti-Semitism.

Berlin restaurant owner Yorai Feinberg was subjected to an anti-Semitic rant (picture-alliance/dpa/J. Carstensen)

Berlin restaurant owner Yorai Feinberg was subjected to an anti-Semitic rant

German Justice Minister Heiko Maas on Thursday described a video showing anti-Semitic abuse making the rounds online as "completely outrageous" and "inexcusable."

Taking to Twitter, Maas said the incident showed that "we must all oppose anti-Semitic rabble-rousing in a dedicated and courageous manner."

"We must never give way to arsonists, because first come the words, then the deed," the Social Democratic lawmaker added.

Read more: Frank-Walter Steinmeier: Germany still faces anti-Semitism

The six-minute video was uploaded by the restaurant owner's girlfriend on Wednesday and by Thursday it had been shared over 300,000 times.

Police said they arrested a 60-year-old suspect seen in the video, who faces charges of sedition.

Anti-Semitic prejudice in Germany

The incident comes as Germany finds itself confronting what German President Frank Walter Steinmeier last week called the "evil face" of anti-Semitism.

Lawmakers have expressed concerns over increased instances of abuse directed at Jews in Germany. Earlier this month, following US President Donald Trump's announcement that the US would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, crowds gathered in front of the US Embassy in central Berlin and burned Israeli flags.

Similar protests also took place in Berlin's immigrant-heavy Neukölln neighborhood.

Read more: Chancellor Angela Merkel condemns burning of Israeli symbols in Berlin

The incident prompted calls from the head of German Jewish Council for stricter laws against anti-Semitic protests, which would allow authorities to prevent and break up such demonstrations.

Germany Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere also last week said he supported calls to create an  anti-Semitism commissioner position in the next German government.

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