Jewish students in German varsities worry amid Israel-Gaza conflict

Jewish students in German universities do not feel safe due to the effects of the war in Gaza, according to the president of the German Rectors’ Conference, Walter Rosenthal.

Mr Rosenthal said there had been an increase in anti-Semitic incidents.

“We know that many Jewish students are currently increasingly worried,” Mr Rosenthal told Die Welt newspaper on Friday.

“They would rather not identify themselves as Jews or Israelis on campus,” he said.

“The situation in Israel and Gaza is continuing to change rapidly, and we are observing with concern that this war is also having an increasing impact on interaction at German universities,” he added.

He maintained that there had been anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic incidents at some universities over the past few weeks.

Constantin Ganß from the Young Forum of the German-Israeli Society also described anti-Israeli statements made by students and teaching staff at universities in the report.

“The atmosphere on the campuses is catastrophic. Jewish students have the right to study safely and freely on campus, but this is currently not guaranteed,” he said.

The concerns come amid the war between Israel and Hamas in the Middle East, unleashed by Hamas militants who went on a rampage through Israeli towns bordering Gaza, killing 1,400 people and taking 249 hostages on October 7.

Israel subsequently launched a heavy air bombardment of the coastal strip and has since been ramping up its ground campaign.

The Gaza Health Ministry, run by Hamas, says 9,257 people have died in Gaza since the war started.