One of the victims of an anti-Semitic attack in central Berlin that shocked Germany this week is not Jewish, it has emerged.
Adam Armoush told German television he was wearing a Jewish kippah skullcap in an attempt to prove it was safe to wear one on the streets of Berlin.
But the experiment went wrong when he and a companion were set upon in the affluent neighbourhood of Prenzlauer Berg and whipped with a belt by three men who shouted “Yahudi”, the Arabic word for Jew.
The main suspect in the attack, a 19-year-old Syrian named only as Knaan S, surrendered to police yesterday (THU). It is not clear whether he is a refugee.
The 21-year-old Mr Armoush is an Israeli citizen of Arab descent. “I’m not Jewish, I’m an Israeli, I grew up in Israel in an Arab family,” he told Deutsche Welle television.
A Berlin resident, he said he had worn the skullcap to make a point after being warned by a friend it could be dangerous on the streets in Germany. “I was saying it’s really safe and I wanted to prove it, but it ended like that,” he said.
Mr Armoush said he had grown up in an atheist family in the Israeli city of Haifa. He began to video the assault on his smartphone after the three men shouted insults at him and his companion. He suffered bruises and minor injuries in the attack.
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“Honestly, I’m a little surprised a thing like this could happen,” he said in a separate interview with Israeli television.
The incident is the latest in a series of violent anti-Semitic attacks which are causing growing concern in Germany.
Angela Merkel described it as a “horrific incident” and vowed that the German authorities would respond with “full force and resolve”.
Mr Armoush said he would not allow the assault to stop him wearing a skullcap. “I’ll keep the kippah, no matter what others think,” he said.