Two Jewish men attacked in apparent anti-Semitic assault in Berlin

Saul Bowman
April 20, 2018

The 21-year-old victim of an anti-Semitic attack in Berlin on Tuesday, revealed that he is not actually Jewish, but an Israeli Arab who donned the piece of religious garb as an experiment after arguing with a friend that it would be safe to do so in Berlin.

The young man explained that he felt the need to film the attack, "because I didn't think we could catch him before police arrived".

Armush filmed one of them men whipping him with a belt while calling out, "Yahudi", or "Jew" in Arabic, before he is stopped by a passerby.

According to police, a 21-year-old Israeli national and a 24-year-old German national were attacked while walking through the affluent Berlin district of Prenzlauer Berg.

"I am a little afraid now, and disappointed", he said, adding that he nevertheless planned to continue wearing the kippa in Berlin.

The victim told Israeli TV that he and his companion had "walked on the street in a normal way - we had not talked to anyone". "The truth is, I'm surprised something like this happened to me". Berlin police confirmed Wednesday that is has launched an investigation.

"You hear about things like this in the outlying neighborhoods", one local woman told DW, "but I was very shocked about it happening here". Then three men suddenly started to abuse him. "It marks the lives of those affected, and we must not leave them to deal with it alone". He said that they initially did not pay any attention to them but eventually his friend asked them to stop. "I wanted to give police something to go on". One featured Israel's flag with a Nazi swastika beneath the words: "I hate Israel". Community leaders have been complaining for some time now that anti-Semitic incidents are on the rise.

"This case must be met with the full force of the law", he said.

"There's anti-Semitism among German citizens, unfortunately, and also anti-Semitism from the Arabic-speaking region and the government will do everything (against it)", Merkel told reporters.

A number of high-profile incidents in recent months have raised alarm bells about a possible resurgence of anti-Semitism in Germany from both the far-right and a large influx of predominantly Muslim asylum seekers since 2015.

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