BERLIN (JTA) — A Jewish leader in Germany has called for public condemnation of an anti-Semitic attack that occurred in Berlin.
Deidre Berger, head of the American Jewish Committee office in Berlin, said in a statement Monday that it is unacceptable that no politicians have publicly responded to the incident which occurred on April 25, in which a young Israeli living in Berlin was encircled and beaten outside his apartment by six young men who identified themselves as Palestinian.
“Especially today, on Yom Hashoah, it has to be made clear that anti-Semitism and violent hatred can have no place in this society,” Berger said, adding that she trusted the Berlin police “to do everything possible to identify the perpetrators as soon as possible.”
There also must be more support for programs that combat anti-Semitism among youth of Arab and Turkish background, Berger added. “This problem must no longer be swept under the rug.”
The incident took place in broad daylight on April 25, when a 31-year-old Israeli man left his apartment with a female companion. He later told police that a group of six young men accosted him verbally, then encircled him and punched him in the face. According to news reports, the woman was not attacked.
The victim, who was treated for facial wounds in a nearby hospital, reported that the same young men had approached him the day before and asked about his nationality, to which he responded that he was an
Israeli citizen. In Arabic, they said they were Palestinian and proceeded to curse out Israel.
In August 2012, Berlin-based Rabbi Daniel Alter was brutally beaten in broad daylight by a group of youths who also threatened to kill his young daughter. The youths, believed to be of Middle-Eastern origin, had first asked if Alter – who wore a yarmulke – was Jewish. He required surgery to repair a broken cheekbone.
Two weeks later, Jewish schoolgirls in Berlin were subjected to an anti-Semitic verbal hazing by teenage girls, also described as being of Middle Eastern origin.