In a Friday decision, a German panel of judges ruled that the fire-bombing of a German synagogue wasn’t motivated by anti-Semitism, but was a “criticism of Israel’s policies.”
In July 2014, three German Palestinian men were arrested for throwing Molotov cocktails at a synagogue in the German city of Wuppertal. A few days before the arson, the synagogue was defaced with graffiti reading “Free Palestine.” In 2015, the men were found guilty of arson but were only given suspended sentences so long as they completed 300 hours of community service.
The local court ruled that the attack was not anti-Semitic, but intended to “bring attention to the Gaza conflict.” The Jerusalem Post reports that in the most recent ruling, a regional panel of judges agreed and upheld the decision, ruling that the attack was intended to “criticize Israel” in the midst of an IDF offensive in the Gaza strip.
The targeted synagogue is actually the second to be burned on that location. The first was burned down during the Kristallnacht pogrom of 1938.
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