Syrian man found guilty of anti-Semitic attack on kippah wearer in Berlin


(JTA) — A 19-year-old man found guilty of carrying out an anti-Semitic attack on a kippah wearer in Berlin was set free after spending two months in pretrial detention.

The Berlin court had sentenced the attacker, identified as a Syrian Palestinian living in Germany since 2015, to four weeks in detention.

On Monday, the court also ordered the man to visit Berlin’s House of the Wannsee Conference, where the Nazis held a conference in 1942 that laid out the “Final Solution,” in order to learn about the history of anti-Semitism in Germany, Reuters reported.

The man was charged under Germany’s juvenile criminal law, which can go up to age 21, after the court determined that he was lacking in maturity, a court spokeswoman told Reuters. He turned himself in two days after the April 17 attack.

Reuters also reported, citing the court spokeswoman, that the attacker also would be given one year of support services, such as help in finding an apartment and an apprenticeship.

The man was born in Syrian has a Syrian passport but considers himself Palestinian, according to the report. The French news agency AFP identified him by the name Knaan al-Sebai.

He told the court on Monday that his attack was not meant to be anti-Semitic and that “I made a mistake and I have learned from it,” according to AFP.

During the attack, the assailant lashed the man with his belt and repeated the Arabic word for Jew, “Yahudi.” The victim, Adam Armoush, an Arab Israeli, filmed the attack on his cellphone; the video went viral on social media. Armouch was accompanied by a 24-year-old man also wearing a kippah who reported being accosted verbally by three men.

Armoush, 21, who is not Jewish, told the Deutsche Welle news agency that he had grown up in an Arab-Christian family in Haifa, Israel, and said he put on the kippah as an experiment to see “how bad it is to walk Berlin’s streets as a Jew today.” The attack took place in the trendy Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood, which is popular among many Israelis living in Berlin.

The attack led thousands of Jews and non-Jews to don kippahs and participate in “Wear a Kippah” rallies in Berlin and other German cities to protest anti-Semitism.

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