Berlin: Syrian charged in anti-Semitic assault on skullcap-wearing Israeli Arab

A Syrian was charged in an anti-Semitic assault in Berlin last month on an Israeli-Arab wearing a skullcap.

By: AP and World Israel News Staff

A 19-year-old Syrian man has been charged in an assault in Berlin last month on an Israeli-Arab wearing a skullcap.

Berlin prosecutors said Friday that the suspect, identified only as Knaan Al S. because of German privacy rules, a Palestinian asylum seeker from Syria, was charged with bodily harm and slander.

The victim, Adam Armush, caught the April 17 assault in a video showing the attacker whipping him with a belt while shouting “Yahudi!” — Arabic for “Jew.”

The incident fueled concerns about anti-Semitism in Germany and drew condemnation from Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The suspect turned himself in to police two days later.

Armush, a 21-year-old student, is actually an Israeli Arab who wore the head covering to see if it was safe to don the Jewish religious symbol on the streets of an upper-class Berlin neighborhood.

Armush told German broadcaster Deutsche Welle that when the attacker rushed him, “I immediately felt it was important to film, because I didn’t think we could catch him before police arrived. I wanted to give police something to go on.”

“I am not Jewish, I am an Israeli and I grew up in Israel in an Arab family,” Armush explained. “It was an experience for me to wear the skullcap and go out into the street yesterday.”

After Armush was struck several times by the screaming assailant, a passerby stopped the attacker, pushing him away and yelling at him.

A week later, thousands of Germans donned Jewish skullcaps and took to the streets in several cities to protest the anti-Semitic attack in Berlin and express fears about growing hatred of Jews in the country.