Bavarian official criticises ‘lack of civil courage’ after Rabbi insulted in Munich

The Bavarian Commissioner on combatting Antisemitism, Ludwig Spaenle, has criticised the ‘lack of civil courage’ of bystanders after a rabbi was insulted on the streets of Munich.

“I’m particularly concerned about the fact that citizens who obviously saw the incident did not rush the aid of the rabbi or informed the police,” said Spaenle, a politician of the center-right Christian Social Union (CSU) party.

The incident happened after Rabbi Shmuel Aharon Brodman – who was wearing a kippah and was therefore identifiable as a Jew – got off the tram at Isartorplatz, where he was followed by four young men who proceeded to insult him and made disparaging comments about the state of Israel. According to the victim’s statement to the Munich police, they made the derogatory statements in English, whilst speaking Arabic between themselves.

“We cannot allow people of Jewish faith to be victims of assault and insults,” said Spaenle. “An attack on Jews is always an attack on West German society.” The President of the Bavarian state parliament, Ilse Aigner, also of the CSU also denounced the incident on Twitter.

In recent years there have been repeated attacks on Jews in Germany, including in Munich. In summer 2019, a rabbi and his two sons were insulted after visiting a synagogue in the Bavarian capital, and one of the three was spat on.

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