Syrian Asylum Seeker Turns Himself in for Attacking Israeli Arab Posing as Jew in Berlin

The victim donned a traditional Jewish skullcap as an 'experiment' after being told it was not safe to wear one in Germany

A 19-year-old Syrian asylum seeker turned himself in to police Thursday after his violent attack on a man wearing a kippa in Berlin caused outrage across Germany.

Police spokesman Winfrid Wenzel said the young Syrian showed up with his lawyer at a police precinct. The 21-year-old victim, an Israeli Arab, caught Tuesday's assault on video. It quickly went viral and reopened a debate about growing anti-Semitism in Germany.

The video shows the attacker whipping the Israeli with a belt while shouting "Yehudi!" or Jew, in Arabic. The victim told German media that he wore the traditional Jewish skullcap as an experiment.

"I'm not Jewish, I'm an Israeli, I grew up in Israel in an Arab family," the man told German broadcaster Deutsche Welle. 

He was conducting what he termed an "experiment" in response to a warning from a friend that wearing a kippa in Germany was unsafe, saying he refused to believe this.

An interview by Israeli broadcaster Kann identified the 21-year-old as Israeli Adam Armoush and showed that he was slightly injured by the belt.

"They kept cursing us and my friend asked them to stop cursing," Armoush told Kan TV. "They started to get angry and one of them ran to me and I knew it was important to film it because there would be no way to catch him by the time police arrived."

Anti-Semitic incidents have been on the rise across Germany. Several Jewish students have reported anti-Semitic bullying in schools in recent months and Israeli flags were burnt during a recent protest in Berlin.

Last week, a rap band that included cynical references about the Nazis' Auschwitz death camp in its lyrics won the country's most important music prize — drawing strong criticism from other artists and government officials. Several past winners said they would return their awards.

German rappers Kollegah and Farid Bang won an Echo award for their new album, including a track that contains the line "my body more defined than Auschwitz inmates.'"

Their record company, BMG, defended the rappers Wednesday, citing "artistic freedom." The musicians themselves denied anti-Semitism but apologized for any offense caused.

In a separate incident, German aid group GIZ said Wednesday it has taken action against several employees accused of posting anti-Semitic material on social media. The group, whose biggest client is the German government, said it fired one employee, issued a written warning to another and reprimanded a third.

GIZ said last month it was alerted by reports in Israeli media to the posts by staff working in Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories. One featured the Israel flag with a Nazi swastika beneath the words: "I hate Israel."