- In a powerful display of unity and solidarity, more than 100 of Germany’s premier corporations have openly declared their support for Israel and an unequivocal opposition to antisemitism.
- These sentiments were revealed in a full-page advertisement seen in major Sunday newspapers across Germany, resonating the message “Never again is now.”
- The advertisement, endorsed by 106 firms representing a significant portion of Germany’s economic force, condemned the Hamas terror group’s brutal assault on October 7.
- The message asserted: “We all condemn Hamas’s terrorist attack on Israel and we see with horror the suffering of civilians in Israel and Gaza. As German companies, we stand against all forms of hatred and antisemitism.”
Signatories and Their Pledge
Among the 106 endorsing entities were globally recognized brands, including: Renowned car manufacturers such as Porsche, VW, BMW, and Audi Business software pioneer SAP Engineering conglomerate Siemens Airline Lufthansa Insurance titan Allianz Major banking institutions like Deutsche Bank, Sparkasse, and LBBW Media and publishing giants Bertelsmann and Hubert Burda These corporations didn’t just voice their support; they acknowledged Germany’s “historical responsibility” towards this cause. The ad’s continuation emphasized their commitment to solidarity, imploring everyone to stand by the Jewish citizens in Germany. The message was clear: Hatred against Jews has no place in Germany.
Backdrop of the Corporate Pledge
This unanimous corporate stance emerges during tumultuous times. Since the violent outbreak triggered by the Hamas terror group’s aggression against Israel on October 7, antisemitic incidents have surged in Germany. The catastrophic event witnessed the death and mutilation of over 1,400 individuals, predominantly civilians, within a few hours. Furthermore, over 200 individuals, spanning all age groups, were kidnapped by Palestinian militants and transported to Gaza as hostages. Following these events, security for Jewish institutions has been ramped up. Chancellor Olaf Scholz expressed his dismay at the spreading antisemitic sentiment and reminded the nation of their vow of “Never again.”
The German Government’s Decisive Stance
- Germany’s political leadership is also exhibiting a robust supportive posture. Chancellor Olaf Scholz, on October 12, announced a stringent directive: a complete prohibition on “all activities and organizations supporting Hamas.”
- Given that Hamas is already categorized as a terrorist organization in Germany, this move will further clamp down on any backing or promotion of the group or its goals.
- In addition, symbolic gestures like displaying the Palestinian flag or donning the Palestinian keffiyeh are now prohibited in Germany.
- German Vice Chancellor, Robert Habeck, poignantly expressed his sentiments on the matter in a statement.
- He re-emphasized Germany’s historical lessons and its obligation to stand by Israel, emphasizing that the terroristic acts are not a fight for freedom but self-motivated violence.
Watch the full statement with subtitles here.
Rising Antisemitic Tensions in Europe
The situation isn’t isolated to Germany. Rabbi Lior Bar-Ami, who resides both in Berlin and Vienna, voiced his concerns about the growing dangers facing visibly Jewish individuals in various Western European cities. The Israel-Hamas war has acted as a catalyst, intensifying a pre-existing undercurrent of antisemitism, particularly from Muslim populations in Europe.
Similar apprehensions are echoed by Jews throughout Europe, with antisemitic incidents witnessing an unprecedented escalation. For instance, in Berlin alone, RIAS, a German antisemitism watchdog, reported a staggering 240% increase in incidents this October compared to last year.
Global Solidarity for Israel
In these turbulent times, it’s heartening to observe European leaders extending their solidarity with Israel. Major cities like London, Paris, and Berlin have seen thousands gathering in large pro-Israel rallies organized by Jewish community factions. However, the rising antisemitic sentiment poses unsettling questions about the future of Jews in contemporary Europe. While Europe grapples with this challenge, the unwavering support from Germany’s corporate sector acts as a beacon of hope in these trying times.