Israeli Flag Hoisted over German City Hall Is Taken and Burned

A Palestinian protester burns an Israeli flag after the funeral of Palestinian Milad Said Ayyash, 17, who died of wounds sustained in yesterday's protests in east Jerusalem, Saturday, May 14, 2011.(AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
AP/Sebastian Scheiner

An Israeli flag hoisted in the city of Solingen was set on fire on Thursday as a wave of antisemitic attacks in Germany is taking place against a backdrop of ongoing conflict in Israel.

The city, located in North-Rhine Westphalia, hoisted the Israeli flag at city hall in commemoration of diplomatic relations being established between West Germany and Israel on the 12th of May, 1965.

The flag had only been outside of the city hall for little over a day when an unknown suspect set it on fire, German tabloid Bild reports.

Tim Kurzbach, a member of the Social Democrats (SPD) and the current mayor of Solingen, called the burning of the flag a “disgraceful act” and told the newspaper: “Anyone who thinks that he can shake our solidarity by burning a flag is mistaken.”

“We are resolutely opposed to the hatred of Jewish people, which is becoming increasingly apparent at the moment,” he added.

Police say they are investigating the incident, but so far, no arrests have been made.

The city of Hagen also initially hoisted the Israeli flag but later decided to remove it, stating in a press release: “In light of the current events in the Middle East, the raising of the flag caused irritation and was seen by some people as a unilateral expression of solidarity with regards to the current conflict.”

In Berlin, an Israeli flag was stolen from the federal office of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), but another was later raised in its place.

Since the outbreak of the conflict between Israel and the terrorist Palestinian group Hamas earlier this week, synagogues have also been attacked in Germany.

On Monday, the memorial to the Great Synagogue on Kasernenstrasse in Düsseldorf, which the National Socialists destroyed in 1938 during Kristallnacht, was set on fire.

On Tuesday, Bonn saw protesters throw rocks at a synagogue, damaging the entrance, while police also found a burned Israeli flag and three notes at the scene, reportedly written in Arabic. Three men in their early twenties were arrested.

The same evening, another Israeli flag was burned in Münster outside a synagogue, with witnesses claiming the group who burned them had an “Arabic appearance”.

Bild reported that around 180 Palestinian sympathisers had gathered outside of a synagogue in Gelsenkirchen on Wednesday night, yelling: “F*** the Jews.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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