Jan. 13, 2017
A German regional court’s affirmation of a lower court ruling that a July 2014 attempt by three Muslim men to burn down a Wuppertal synagogue constituted criticism of Israel, rather than antisemitism, was “disgusting and dangerous” and “legitimizes violent antisemitism,” an official with a leading US-based Jewish human rights organization said on Friday.
“It sets a legal cover to extremists and terrorists to ‘express’ their hatred the way that Hitler and company expressed their hatred of Jews,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper — associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles — warned. “Left unchallenged, this outrage could signal open season on German Jewry and their institutions by those who hate the Jewish state and everything it and the Jewish people stand for.”
According to a Jerusalem Post report, the lower court ruling that was affirmed found that the three German Palestinian perpetrators of the arson attempt wanted to “draw attention” to Operation Protective Edge — Israel’s 50-day military campaign against terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip — and were not motivated by hatred of Jews when they hurled Molotov cocktails at the synagogue, causing 800 euros worth of damage.
The men received suspended sentences.