Berlin, Germany – Following a vicious beating last week by four Arab teens in downtown Berlin against 53-year-old Rabbi Daniel Alter, hundreds of young Jews, Christians and Muslims organized in Berlin today to protest religious intolerance. At the “night of religions” event, all protestors wore yarmulkes as a show of unity with the Jewish community according to DW.De (http://bit.ly/RyKnI4).
The assault on Rabbi Alter, who required surgery for a cheekbone fracture, as well as the teens’ threat to kill the rabbi’s six-year-old daughter, has caused concern among German Jews as to whether they need to worry about their safety. Berlin’s interior minister, Frank Hankel, sought to calm fears by denouncing the “vicious attack,” while Dieter Graumann of the Central Council of Jews in Germany called on Germany’s sizeable Muslim population to take more aggressive measures to counter anti-Semitism. The chairman of the Central Council of Muslims, Aiman Mazyek, has publicly condemned the attack and said he stands with all of Germany’s Jews.
A total of 436 anti-Semitic attacks have been recorded in Germany this year. Most involved swastika graffiti or verbal abuse, but 13 of the attacks have been physical in nature according to the German news agency dpa.