Berlin Youths Hurl anti-Semitic Slurs at Jewish Girls, in Second Incident in Last Week

Boys, girls of 'Middle Eastern' appearance surround ultra-Orthodox schoolgirls; head of Jewish community in German capital: Muslims need to note Muslim anti-Semitism.

Jewish schoolgirls were verbally assaulted with anti-Semitic slurs in Berlin on Monday, in the second attack on Jews reported in the German capital in the past week.

A group of 13 female students from the ultra-Orthodox school "Or Avner" in Berlin said they were surrounded by boys and girls with a "Middle Eastern appearance" who chanted anti-Semitic slurs. Local police said that no one was physically hurt in the incident.

Last Tuesday, Daniel Alter, a Berlin rabbi, was assaulted by youths in West Berlin in a suspected anti-Semitic attack, witnessed by his 6-year-old daughter.

Alter told the German daily Bild that the attackers approached him and asked, "Are you a Jew?" Then they blocked his way and began hitting him in the face, while hurling anti-Semitic curses. They also threatened his daughter's life.

Head of Berlin's Jewish community, Gideon Yoffe, denounced the attacks, and said it is "time that Muslim anti-Semitism bothered the Muslim side too."

Following the attack on Alter last week, the city's residents decided to show their solidarity with the city's Jewish community. Head of the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf Berlin district, Reinhard Naumann, called on the Berlin newspaper, BZ, to take action. "Berliners can show solidarity with Daniel Alter and the Jewish community by wearing skullcaps," Naumann told BZ on Friday.

The newspaper decided to accept the challenge, and turned to politicians, celebrities and citizens, who all agreed to pose wearing kippot. Sven Schulz, a parliament member from the Spandau neighborhood, explained, "'Berlin wears a yarmulke' is an excellent idea, and is a powerful symbol of solidarity."

Mayor Wowereit published a notice of support for the show of solidarity, calling the attack on Alter "violence directed against peace and communality in a multi-religious city. Berlin is proud of its liberal and tolerant heritage. Our multinational city includes numerous religious communities. Churches, synagogues, mosques and temples are all communal centers and carry an important social role."