Disco attack on Jews apparently spurred by anti-Semitism

BERLIN (JTA) — German national security police are investigating an attack, apparently motivated by anti-Semitism, on two Israeli tourists at a Berlin disco club. 

A man who identified himself as a Palestinian began choking and punching a 22-year-old Israeli after asking where he came from, according to reports. The victim’s 18-year-old friend also was beaten in the overnight Monday incident.

Before fleeing, the attacker also reportedly threw a glass at the younger Israeli man but missed.

According to police, a 43-year-old employee of the disco escorted the victims to the door and then reportedly sprayed mace at the Israelis, who managed to get in a taxi. The victims called the police from their hotel.

The Israelis were treated for their injuries at a local hospital and released.

Recent statistics on anti-Semitic attacks in Germany have shown a rise in incidents — violent and verbal — during periods of turmoil in the Middle East. The number of such attacks rose during Israel’s military operation in the Gaza Strip during the winter of 2008-09. The disco attack follows on the heels of Israel’s May 31 interception of a Gaza-bound flotilla that left nine passengers dead.

Following a recent stone-throwing attack on a Jewish dance troupe in Hanover, Juliane Wetzel, a member of the new expert panel on anti-Semitism for the German Parliament and a scholar at the Center for Research on Anti-Semitism in Berlin, told the Welt online newspaper that the problem of anti-Semitism among young Muslims in Germany had not been thoroughly examined.

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