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'Explosion of evil' in Europe against Jews condemned

| Monday, July 21, 2014, 5:24 p.m.

BERLIN — Leaders in Europe have decried the anti-Semitism that has been evident in recent pro-Gaza protests in several countries.

The leader of Germany's Jewish community on Monday said he is shocked by an “explosion of evil and violent hatred of Jews” shown during demonstrations across the country, the Associated Press reported.

The president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dieter Graumann, said that “we would have never in our lives have expected that anti-Semitic slogans of the worst and most primitive kind could be chanted on Germany's streets.”

Since the outbreak of violence in Israel and Gaza, there have been demonstrations for and against Israel in Germany. During some of those protests, pro-Gaza protesters have chanted “gas the Jews” and “Jew, Jew, cowardly swine.”

The crowds are said to be largely young, with immigrants and native Germans, many of Middle Eastern origin, according to the Times of Israel.

“Jews are once again openly threatened in Germany and sometimes attacked, synagogues are being defaced and declared as targets,” Graumann said.

In France, Prime Minister Manuel Valls has condemned anti-Semitic violence that broke out on Sunday during a protest against Israel's action in Gaza, the BBC reported.

Jewish-owned businesses and a synagogue were targeted in the suburb of Sarcelles, just outside Paris.

Shops were looted, and 18 arrested as youths went on the rampage during the protest, which had been banned by authorities.

The mayor of Sarcelles said the Jewish community was in fear.

“What's happened in the past few days is terrible,” agreed Roger Cukierman, head of a group of French Jewish organizations. They're shouting ‘Death to the Jews' and attacking synagogues. It's completely out of control.”

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