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Pro-Palestinian rally in Berlin features anti-Semitic chants

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A participant demonstrating at a protest against Israeli military action in Gaza, July 17, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. The event took place at the same time as a 'We Stand With Israel' demonstration elsewhere in the city. (Adam Berry/Getty Images)

A demonstrator in Berlin participating in a protest against Israeli military action in Gaza, July 17, 2014. The event took place simultaneously with a ‘We Stand With Israel’ rally elsewhere in the German city. (Adam Berry/Getty Images)

BERLIN (JTA) — Following a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Berlin at which participants chanted anti-Jewish slogans, the American Jewish Committee Berlin office filed a complaint with police.

According to a news statement, the marchers on Thursday chanted “Jew, Jew, cowardly pig, come on out and fight.”

Deidre Berger, director of the AJC’s Berlin office, wrote an open letter to the members of the German Bundestag calling on them to be vigilant in protecting Jewish citizens. Police should crack down on such threats “to show that anti-Semitism has no place in our society.”

The danger of uncontrolled demonstrations was made clear last week in Paris, when violent protesters trapped Jews inside a synagogue and chanted such slogans as “Hitler was right” and “Death to Jews.” In Germany, such expressions are  illegal and not protected by free-speech laws.

“We’re concerned that there are no more taboos against open expressions of anti-Semitism at such protests,” Berger said. Reports of aggressive anti-Israel demonstrations have come in from other cities in Germany, including Frankfurt, Gelsenkirchen, Kassel and Bremen.

Another pro-Palestinian demonstration is scheduled for Saturday in Berlin. Several thousand demonstrators are expected.

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