European Foreign Ministers Condemn Palestinian Anti-Semitism

BERLIN (Reuters) -

The foreign ministers of Germany, France and Italy on Tuesday condemned anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia that have been manifest during rallies against Israel’s Operation Protective Edge.

So far 29 Israelis, 27 of them soldiers, have died in the fighting. Estimates of 600 Palestinians killed have sparked violent anti-Israel demonstrations.

“Anti-Semitic incitement and hostility against Jews, attacks on people of Jewish faith and synagogues have no place in our societies,” the three foreign ministers said in a joint statement issued in Brussels.

France’s Laurent Fabius, Italy’s Federica Mogherini and Germany’s Frank-Walter Steinmeier said: “Nothing, including the dramatic military confrontation in Gaza, justifies such actions here in Europe.”

French authorities had refused to allow several pro-Palestinian protests scheduled for the weekend due to fears of violence, but gave the green light for a rally planned in Paris on Wednesday.

France has both the largest Jewish and Muslim populations in Europe and flare-ups of violence in the Middle East often add to tensions between the two communities.

In Germany, police in Berlin said it had detained 13 people after demonstrators pelted police with stones after a pro-Palestinian protest on Monday. Police also banned an anti-Semitic slogan used by protesters, according to media reports.

“We will do everything together and in our countries so that all citizens can continue to live in peace and safety, unoffended by anti-Semitic hostility,” the ministers said.