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Man wearing Star of David pendant attacked in Berlin park

BERLIN (JTA) — A man wearing a Star of David pendant and cap was attacked in a Berlin park in what investigators suspect was a hate crime.

The unidentified victim, 67, said two men harassed and then repeatedly punched him while he was sitting with a friend in Tiergarten Park on Monday afternoon. He was treated in a hospital for multiple lacerations to the head. The assailants fled.

Deidre Berger, director of the Berlin office of the American Jewish Committee, said in a statement that anti-Semitic attacks in Germany are becoming more common and urged political leaders to implement and support programs designed to combat the trend.

“For three years, the recommendations of an independent commission of experts [on anti-Semitism] convened by the federal government have sat unused in a drawer,” Berger said. She said proven programs such as Berlin’s Kreuzberg Initiative Against Anti-Semitism, which reaches out especially to youth, are struggling to survive.

In April, a young Israeli living in the capital was beaten outside his apartment in broad daylight by six young men who identified themselves as Palestinian.

In August 2012, Berlin-based Rabbi Daniel Alter was attacked in front of his home by a group of youths who also threatened to kill his young daughter. The youths, reported to be of Middle Eastern origin, asked the kippad-clad Alter if he was Jewish. The rabbi required surgery to repair a broken cheekbone.

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