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January 13, 2009

German Polizei Confiscate Israeli Flag in Response to Hamas-Supporting Mob's Violence [jdub]

A reader at The Muqata sends along the following story:

Today, 10.000 people demonstrated against Israel here in my hometown Duisburg (Germany) and to express their solidarity with Hamas. So, my girlfriend and me put two Israel flags out of the windows of our flat in the 3rd floor. During the demonstration which went through our street the police broke into our flat and removed the flag of Israel. The statement of the police was to de-escalate the situation, because many youth demonstrators were on the brink of breaking into our apartment house. Before this they threw snowballs, knifes and stones against our windows and the complete building. We both were standing on the other side of the street and were shocked by seeing a police officer standing in our bedroom and opening the window to get the flag. The picture illustrate this situation. The police acquiesced in the demands of the mob.

Naturally, there was a youtube video of the episode, and naturally, persons unknown (IYKWIMAITYD) have been playing the old complaint/suppression game with it. Luckily, Jewish Odysseus has managed to find a copy of the tape that is up as of this posting. Weíll see how long that happy state of affairs continues.

If youíre looking for the original Muqata post, itís at the 1:16 a.m. mark from Monday. (Man, that cat should figure out how to permalink those entries!) Click through to both for commentary and additional developments, as well as excellent Gazablogging by Mutaqa.

Thereís a lot Iíd like to say about this little episode, but right now, I think itís best I hold back lest I be too inflammatory. Godwinís law and all that.

Luckily, this blog allows comments.

Correction: Spelled Muqata wrong. I apologize for the error. You can all thank Gabe for alerting me to this. The Lawyer. Typical.

Update and Clarification below the jump.

Commenter A Plover in Every Pot! raises a good point, i.e., that the Polizei had to defuse the situation somehow. This is why Iím a little hesitant to start flinging the Nazi stuff around, though I certainly wonít begrudge others that choice. Rather, I think the important context here is that of the Motoons. Once again, a violent, vocal minority manages to harass a government (or government actors) into depriving another (law-abiding) group of its rights and property.

So the point here isnít to call the Polizei Nazis, itís really not. Itís to point out the danger of a allowing a political atmosphere to persist in which the Polizei can be induced to take actions which very, very clearly echo actions another German government took a long time ago.

To sum up: The Polizei here were apparently so very badly scared/harassed/threatened by a vocal minority that they felt their only option was to take actions they knew would cause them to be painted as Nazis. While not the return of the Gestapo, such a state of affairs is nearly indistinguishable. And itís terrible, and frightening.

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posted by xgenghisx at 09:34 AM

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