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Jewish Student in Germany Brutally Assaulted by Pro-Palestinian Assailant

FILE – German police officers stand guard in front of the building complex of the Kahal Adass Jisroel community, which houses a synagogue, a kindergarten and a community center, in the center of Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023. European Union interior ministers met Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023, to discuss how to manage the impact of the war between Israel and Hamas on the bloc, after a firebomb assault on a Berlin synagogue and killings in Belgium and France by suspected Islamist extremists. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File)

A 30-year-old Jewish student was brutally assaulted and hospitalized with facial fractures by a 23-year-old pro-Palestinian student in Berlin this past weekend. 

The assault occurred during a heated argument over the Gaza war, underscoring the alarming rise in antisemitic acts in Germany.

The assault took place on Friday in the Mitte district when the Jewish student, accompanied by a friend, encountered the pro-Palestinian assailant. Tempers flared during the argument, leading the pro-Palestinian student to violently attack the Jewish student.

The assailant punched him repeatedly, causing the victim to fall, and then proceeded to kick him while he was on the ground before fleeing the scene. Berlin police swiftly located and arrested the attacker at his home in the Schönberg district, subsequently conducting a search of his residence and seizing his cell phone.

The incident is emblematic of an escalating trend of antisemitic acts in Germany since the Hamas attack on southern Israel on October 7. The Federal Criminal Police Office has recorded over 1,100 antisemitic incidents in the country through December 21, painting a disturbing picture of rising hostility towards the Jewish community.

Felix Klein, the commissioner responsible for combating antisemitism in Germany, spoke out about the dire situation. In an interview published on Saturday, Klein highlighted that since October 7, Germany has witnessed an unprecedented level of hatred against Jews, reminiscent of decades past. 

He expressed deep concern about the impact on the daily lives of Jews in Germany, citing instances where children are being kept away from Jewish kindergartens, school classrooms are left empty, and Jewish events are canceled or avoided.

“Since October 7, there has been hatred against Jews at a level never before seen in Germany for decades.” Klein said.

“Children are not being sent to Jewish kindergartens and Jewish schools have empty classrooms. Jewish events are being canceled or avoided. Those with Jewish names are changing them on the various apps so so that they are not identified.”

He called on the German public to abandon indifference and take a clear stand against antisemitism. While acknowledging events commemorating Holocaust victims, Klein emphasized that the lofty rhetoric of “never again” does not align with the increasing challenges faced by Jews in their everyday lives in Germany.