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Yakov Hadas-Handelsman
Image: picture alliance/dpa

Israeli ambassador to Berlin calls on Jews to emigrate

February 22, 2015

The Israeli ambassador in Berlin has urged Jews to leave Europe and move to Israel. European anti-Semitism has made Jewish communities feel threatened, according to the diplomat.

https://p.dw.com/p/1Efh1

Israel's ambassador to Berlin, Yakov Hadas-Handelsman, renewed an offer to European Jews to emigrate to Israel. Hadas-Handelsman told the German newspaper Tagesspiegel am Sonntag that there was a "wave of anti-Semitism" in Europe, particularly in light of religiously-motivated attacks in Paris and Copenhagen in recent months.

"I don't envy the Jews who live in Europe today," the diplomat said to the paper, telling his fellow Jews that "whoever feels threatened now has the opportunity to come to us at any time."

The ambassador added that the fear that Jews might feel could happen to any minority: "You have to make it clear to people that this could affect another minority anytime - Muslims, atheists, the handicapped, people of color, large or small."

Hadas-Handelsman's comments echo a similar call by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for European Jews to emigrate following the shooting of a security guard at a synagogue in Copenhagen.

Denmark's chief rabbi, Jair Melchior, rejected the invitation however, saying "We will not let the terrorists force us to change our everyday lives, to live in fear and flee to other places." The President of the Jewish Council of Germany, Josef Schuster, had a similar opinion, pointing out that Israel cannot promise absolute safety from terror attacks.

The threat to Jewish safety and well-being is a "worldwide phenomenon," Schuster said.

es/sms (dpa, epd)

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