Berlin anti-Semitic attacker identified as Palestinian-Syrian, turns self in

A young Israeli was hit repeatedly with a belt on a German street by an attacker yelling “Jew” in Arabic. The assailant later turned himself in and was identified as a Palestinian “asylum seeker” from Syria.

By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

A young man wearing a skullcap was openly beaten Tuesday on a Berlin street by a man yelling “Yahudi,” which is Arabic for Jew.

The assailant was one of three men who had cursed repeatedly at the victim, Adam Armush, and his friend as they walked to a nearby train station. The men were wearing the traditional Jewish head covering called a “kipa,” the victim told the Israeli media Wednesday. When one of the assailants came at Armush with a belt, he took out his phone to record the anti-Semitic act.

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.

As Armush told told German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, when the man 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.

Besides giving the evidence to the authorities, Armush also uploaded his video on Facebook, where it was picked up and shared by the Jewish Forum for Democracy and Against Antisemitism (JFDA).

The organization’s spokesman, Levi Salomon, called for action by the political echelon and civil society. “It is unbearable to see” a young man attacked “because he is recognized as a Jew,” he said. “This shows that Jewish people are not safe here either.”

“We no longer need Sunday speeches,” he added. “We have to act.”

The JFDA posted an update Wednesday, saying that according to police, the suspected thug had first tried to attack Armush with a glass bottle but that a witness had gotten between them. An investigation has been opened against a total of three people accused of trying to cause dangerous bodily injury.

The Berlin authorities confirmed the incident to the JFDA and, after an investigation was started, the attacker turned himself in to police on Thursday. German media reported that the attacker is a local 19-year-old Palestinian asylum seeker from Syria named “Knaan S.,” according to the Bild daily.