Germany’s Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere has condemned the burning of Israeli flags at pro-Palestinian demonstrations in Berlin following the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel last week.
Germany was “connected in a quite particular way to the state of Israel and to all people of the Jewish faith,” he said in comments to the newspaper Bild to be published on Monday.
“We do not accept it when Jews or the state of Israel is insulted in this shameful way,” de Maiziere continued.
Two Israeli flags were burnt at a Friday demonstration outside the US embassy, by the Brandenburg Gate in central Berlin, following President Donald Trump’s decision on the disputed city of Jerusalem.
Ten people were arrested and police launched an investigation into the alleged insulting of the emblem of a foreign state.
Another flag was burnt at a protest march attended by about 2,500 people between Berlin’s Neukoelln and Kreuzberg districts on Sunday.
The German government was “aware of the particular situation in the Middle East,” de Maiziere said.
“In light of and particularly because of this we condemn it utterly when violence takes place at demonstrations and the Israeli flag is burnt.
“Germany has freedom of opinion and assembly. But these freedoms must be practised peacefully.”
Berlin’s Mayor Michael Mueller had already condemned the flag-burning, saying those people who took part in it could not rely on the protection of the constitutional right to demonstrate.