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Raseri sprer seg i Tyskland etter at politiet i Duisberg innrømmer å ha fjernet 2 israelske flagg en student hadde hengt opp fra og i leiligheten sin i tredje etasje under en pro-palestinsk marsj arrangert av den islamistiske, tyrkiskbaserte organisasjonen Milli Görüs. Politiet brøt seg inn i studentens leilighet, og tok til og med ned et flagg han hadde hengt opp på soverommet sitt, og som bare syntes gjennom vinduet, fordi demonstrantene i gaten nedenfor ble aggressive av synet.

Politiet har utstedt en beklagelse for hendelsen og sier at flaggene både i og utenfor leiligheten ble fjernet for å forhindre en potensielt farlig situasjon, men det lokale avdelingen av Social Democratic Party (SPD) akter å stille spørsmål om politiets handling i det tyske innenriksministeriet: Hvorfor ble den potensielle faren ved protestmarsjen så undervurdert at politiet ble tvunget til å gi etter for kravene til potensielt voldelige islamister i stedet for å beskytte andres ytringsfrihet?

Police in the western German city of Duisburg have admitted they removed flags a student had hung in his apartment in support of Israel during a pro-Palestinian protest march in the city. Officers broke down his door and removed the flags. The city’s police chief has issued an apology, but outrage is spreading.

It’s certainly not a new phenomenon in Germany for feathers to be ruffled every time bombs fall or rockets fly in the Middle East. It is unusual, though, for German police officials to use force to enter into an apartment and remove an Israeli flag from a bedroom because people protesting the Gaza Strip invasion on the street below are bothered by it.

Rundt 10.000 mennesker møtte opp for å delta i protestmarsjen som var arrangert av Milli Görüs. Den islamistiske organisasjonen er lovlig, men har i årevis blitt overvåket av den tyske sikkerhetstjenesten som holder et øye med potensielt radikale og fundamentalistiske grupper.

Protestmarsjen passerte i den ene av Duisburgs to hovedgater, og ved et hus oppdaget noen av demonstrantene 2 israelske flagg – et som hang fra balkongen og et på soverommet som kunne sees gjennom vinduet. Den 24 år gamle eieren av leiligheten, Peter P. (som er anonym i artikkelen, men hvis navn redaksjonen i Der Spiegel kjenner. Min anm.) og hans kjæreste hadde hengt dem der til støtte for Israel.

It wasn’t the first time, either. At the beginning of the year, P. flew the Israeli flag on the day commemorating the Holocaust. And in May, he flew the flag for several weeks because the state of Israel was celebrating its 60th birthday. For years, Hamas fired rockets at Israel, and few people took notice, P. told SPIEGEL ONLINE, explaining his reasons for flying the flag. This time around, he said, he did it to express «solidarity with the sole democracy in the region.»

P. also knew that on that day people participating in the protest march against the Israeli offensive would go past his house. But he said he was also concerned about what he saw as the «greatest onslaught of anti-Semitism in Europe since 1945,» namely marches against Israel’s actions that included anti-Semitic hate campaigns that he claims are being tolerated in cities like Paris and London.

Da demonstrantene oppdaget flagget sto P. og kjæresten hans på gaten i nærheten. De sammenligner stemningen som spredte seg i mengden ved synet av flaggene med en «lynsjemobb». Flere ropte «død over Israel» og politiet lot ikke til å ha kontroll.

Så fikk P. øye en politibetjent på balkongen i andre etasje rett under hans egen leilighet. Politibetjenten rev ned flagget, og kort etter så P. at en annen politibetjent var inne i leiligheten hans og tok ned flagget på soverommet.

Politiets handlinger forårsaket høylytt heiing i mengden, noe som ikke bare blir rapportert av Peter P., men også bekreftes av videoer som sirkulerer i stort omfang på YouTube. Videoene viser også at mengden kaster noe som ser ut som isklumper, en foldekniv, negleklippere og noe som ser ut som stein på leiligheten.

P. said he was «shocked» by the incident. Afraid to return to his apartment, he first went to a friend’s place nearby. Around two hours later he returned with his girlfriend and an acquaintance — but he claims youths were still throwing things at the house.

He said he didn’t return to the apartment until they had left. A police car passed by and P. asked the officers to come to his apartment. The officers warned that P. and his girlfriend should stay away from the window and that police would watch the house for a few hours.

«I was beside myself,» P. said, «I was afraid.» Two hours passed without any incident. Then P.’s acquaintance, also in the apartment, went out to the balcony for a smoke and claims he was immediately cursed as a «shit jew».

2 minutter senere sto politiet på P.`s dør, og beordret den aktuelle gjesten til å forlate leiligheten.

The actions of Duisburg officials have since caused outrage — sparking criticism from the Central Council of Jews in Germany. Rainer Wendt, the head of the German Police Union for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, said: «It is intolerable that German Islamists be able to determine police actions.» At the same time, he expressed understanding for what he described as a «difficult deployment situation» police officials in Duisburg had run up against. He said it appeared too few officers had been dispatched to the protest. Frank Richter of the Union of Police, another organization representing officers in the state, said the police mission should be explored and clarity brought to the incident.

Til å begynne med forsvarte Duisburg-politiet handlingen. Avisen Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper siterte en talsmann for politiet som sa at flaggene hadde blitt fjernet for å de-eskalere en potensielt farlig situasjon. Det tyske nyhetsbyrået DDP siterte talsmannen for å sagt at «den riktige tingen ble gjort her».

But by Tuesday afternoon, the city’s chief of police, Rolf Cebin, expressed his apologies for the incident. «I deeply regret the fact that, especially, the feelings of Jewish people were hurt. From the standpoint of the present, it was the wrong decision.»

Despite the apology, the row may not be over yet. The state chapter of the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) wants a discussion about the police actions to take place in the state parliament in Düsseldorf. «We are going to raise the issue during a meeting of the state domestic affairs committee on Thursday,» the party’s deputy parliamentary chief, Ralf Jäger, told SPIEGEL ONLINE. «The central question is this: Why was the potential for danger during the protest so underestimated that police were forced into a situation in which they had to concede to the demands of violent (protesters) rather than (protect) the right to the freedom of speech of others?»

The politician claims that Duisburg police believed 1,000 people would attend the rally, far fewer than the 10,000 who eventually turned up. He claims they should have better predicted the situation and the fact that they didn’t raises the question of whether the state’s Office of Criminal Investigation had done enough «preparation.»

As of Tuesday, Milli Görüs has not yet provided any statement about the incident. The acting spokesperson for the organization’s secretary general could not be reached for comment, and the group’s office said its chairman was currently outside the country.

Spiegel Online: OUTRAGE OVER DEMONSTRATION IN GERMANY
Police Remove Israeli Flag during Islamist Protest March

Via Snaphanen