Sunday, May 17, 2020

Germany: Burning of Israeli flag leads to law to ban torching of all flags

Via The Jerusalem Post:
An antisemitic rally where an Israeli flag was torched caused German lawmakers on Thursday to pass legislation outlawing the burning of all foreign flags within the borders of the federal republic.  
The Jerusalem Post reviewed the 16-page change in German to law that imposes a criminal penalty that could lead to a three year prison term for flag burning.  
The Social Democratic Party faction wrote in the proposed law ahead of its passage “that the draft law and the coalition factions' amendment were not about restricting freedom of expression. Rather, a clear criminal law barrier should be set and a gap in criminal law should be closed. It was unbearable and unacceptable for the flag of the State of Israel to be burned in public.”  
The main triggering event for the legislation was a 2017 demonstration in Berlin, in which 2,500 people, most of whom were German Muslims, protested against US President Donald Trump’s decision to relocate the US embassy to Israel’s capital, Jerusalem. The protestors torched an Israeli flag, prompting police at the time to initiate investigations into 11 people in connection with the flag burning.
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