'We were wearing kippas, they just started cursing us'

Israeli man recalls physical assault by Muslim gang on streets of Berlin.

David Rosenberg,

Berlin (stock image)
Berlin (stock image)

The victim of an apparent anti-Semitic assault of the streets of Berlin on Tuesday spoke out about the incident in an interview with Kann Wednesday morning.

On Tuesday, two young Israeli men were attacked by a group of three Muslim men near the Helmholtzplatz park in Berlin.

The attackers cursed the two Israeli men in Arabic, and at least one of the three whipped one of the two Israelis with a belt.

On Wednesday, one of the two victims, 21-year-old Israeli-Arab Adam Armush, who according to his social media accounts is a student at the University of Veterinary Medicine Hanover, described the encounter to the Hebrew news outlet Kann.

“It happened right here next to my home while I was on my way to the train station with a friend. I’m just shocked that something like this actually happened to me,” Armush told Kann. “I’m still in shock.”

“We were walking down the street with our kippas – my friend and I – when three people approached us from [down the street]… and started to curse at us. We didn’t say anything back to them, we didn’t answer them. They kept cursing at us, and my friend [finally] told them to stop. Then they got angry and one of them charged at me. I knew then that it would be important to film this, since I didn’t think we’d catch him before the police got there.”

According to the Judisches Forum fur Demokratie und gegen Antisemitismus (JFDA), which monitors anti-Semitism in Germany, local police have opened an investigation into the attack.

“Just because he wore a kippa, a young Jewish man was reportedly attack on April 17th, 2018, at Helmholtzplatz in Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg,” the group said in a statement.

Levi Salomon, spokesman for the JFDA condemned the attack.

"It is unbearable to see that a young Jewish man is attacked on the street in the well-situated Berlin district of Prenzlauer Berg, because he recognizes himself as a Jew. This shows that Jewish people are not safe here either. Now politics and civil society are in demand. We no longer need Sunday speeches, we have to act."

In an update Wednesday, the JFDA added that one of the attackers had also attempted to attack one of the victims with a glass bottle, and that an eyewitness to the incident had intervened to break up the attack.