November 18, 2019

German Jewish Man Says He Was Assaulted As Assailant Shouted ‘Free Palestine!’

BERLIN, GERMANY - APRIL 25: A participant wears a kippah during a "wear a kippah" gathering to protest against anti-Semitism in front of the Jewish Community House on April 25, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. The Jewish community made a public appeal for Jews and non-Jews to attend the event and wear a kippah as a show of solidarity. The effort was sparked by a recent incident in Berlin in which a Syrian Palestinian man berated and struck with his belt a man wearing a kippah. The kippah-wearer was not Jewish, but an Israeli Arab who wore the kippah curious what reaction he might receive while walking in Berlin. In 2017 Germany reportedly recorded 1453 criminal offenses related to anti-Semitism, of which 94 percent were attributed to German citizens. (Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)

A 19-year-old German male said in a Nov. 5 Facebook post that he was assaulted, alleging that his assailant tore off his yarmulke and shouted, “Free Palestine!”

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports that the man, identified as Samuel Kantorovych, wrote he was at the gym when “a guy sneaked up on me from behind, grabbed my head and tore down my Kippah! shouting ‘You dirty Jew!’ and ‘Free Palestine’ he spat on my Kippah and threw it in the garbage!”

The man then allegedly said to Kantorovych, “Do you want me to beat you up? F*ck off you dirty [J]ew!” 

Kantorovych wrote that “an old man stood up and tried to calm the situation down,” but the rest of the onlookers just stood around and watched. The assailant eventually walked away.

Kantorovych wrote that he decided to post what had happened to him because he wanted to show that instances of anti-Semitism can’t be dismissed as outliers.

“I didn’t do anything to this guy except for being [J]ewish!” Kantorovych wrote. “I was born and raised in Germany and I kind of see myself as a part of this country and [its] people! Why can’t I be openly Jewish and go to the same gym as anyone else without fearing for my life?”

‼️I got attacked in the gym for being Jewish ‼️tonight, around 9:15 p.m. a guy sneaked up on me from behind, grabbed my…

Posted by Samuel Kantorovych on Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted, “This #antiSemitic incident is disturbing & indicative of the daily reality of #antiSemitism in Germany.”

The Stop Antisemitism.org watchdog similarly tweeted, “We don’t know what’s more horrific- the actual act of a Jewish man having his [kippah] torn off of his head, spat on, and called a ‘Dirty Jew’ OR the fact that a room full of men looked on while it happened and did NOTHING?!”

Germany’s Anti-Semitism Commissioner Felix Klein said in May that he couldn’t “recommend that Jews can wear a kippah everywhere and any time” because of rising anti-Semitism in the country. A day later, Klein reversed course and called for Jews to wear kippot in response to Al-Quds Day, which he described as an event where “people will agitate unbearably against Israel and against Jews.”