The 21-year-old victim of an anti-Semitic attack on the streets of Berlin has told German media that, despite the fact that he was wearing a kippah, he was not Jewish, but an Israeli Arab wearing the kippah as an experiment.
“I’m not Jewish, I’m an Israeli, I grew up in Israel in an Arab family,” the man told German broadcaster Deutsche Welle.
He was conducting what he termed an “experiment” in response to a warning from a friend that wearing a kippah in Germany was unsafe, saying he refused to believe this.
An interview by Israeli broadcaster Kann identified the 21-year-old as Israeli Adam Armoush and showed that he was slightly injured by the belt.
“They kept cursing us and my friend asked them to stop cursing,” Armoush told Kan TV. “They started to get angry and one of them ran to me and I knew it was important to film it because there would be no way to catch him by the time police arrived.”
“Honestly, I’m surprised a thing like this could happen,” he said in the interview.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel called attack in the city’s trendy Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood “a very horrible incident” and vowed the government would respond “with full force and resolve” against growing anti-Semitism in Germany.
“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.
Anti-Semitic incidents have been on the rise across Germany. Several Jewish students have reported anti-Semitic bullying in schools in recent months and Israeli flags were burnt during a recent protest in Berlin.
Last week, anti-Semitic Muslim rappers who made fun of Holocaust victims, win Germany’s top music award. Several past winners said they would return their awards.