Israeli diplomat: Jews will not run from Germany after Halle attack

By Michael Fischer, dpa

The Israeli ambassador to Germany does not expect Jews to start leaving the country after the recent anti-Semitic attack on a synagogue in Halle, he told dpa on Sunday.

“I would never want Jews to run away from something, because I don’t think that it is the right answer for anyone – not for them and not for German society,” Jeremy Issacharoff said, three months after the attack in Halle.

After an anti-Semitic attack in France in 2012, there was an increase in the number of Jews emigrating to Israel. France has the largest Jewish population in Europe and the third-largest in the world, after Israel and the United States.

Issacharoff said he did not expect the same thing to happen in Germany, as he sensed a determination among Jews to continue living their lives as before.

He also said he did not expect the attack to deter Israeli Jews from visiting Germany.

“I see the usual flow of Israelis coming to Germany, to Berlin, to Frankfurt, to other cities. And I don’t see that changing in the near future,” he said.

Around 50 people were in a synagogue in the eastern German city of Halle on October 9 when the suspected attacker, identified only as Stephan B under German privacy laws, shot at the door and threw explosive devices.

The attack took place on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. Stephan B has admitted he acted out of anti-Semitic and right-wing motives.

After he failed to force his way into the synagogue, he shot dead a 40-year-old woman in the street and a 20-year-old man in a nearby kebab shop. He also seriously injured a couple while fleeing.

Issacharoff said it would have been a catastrophe if the attacker had managed to force his way into the synagogue and kill multiple people.

“I think it would have had a very, very considerable impact on Germany’s moral standing, on its identity. I think it would have had a very dramatic effect,” he said.

Issacharoff also said that he was happy with the new measures being taken by Germany to protect Jewish establishments.

“This was a warning sign to the German authorities, and they have taken steps to increase the security in a substantial way,” he said.

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