BERLIN - Berlin police said Monday they are investigating an attack on an Israeli citizen who was beaten by a group of young men after he asked them to stop singing anti-Semitic songs on the subway in the German capital on New Year's Eve.
Police spokesman Martin Dahms said that police have not yet been able to identify the attackers, but are evaluating video footage of the incident.
The victim, 26-year-old Shahak Shapira, who lives in Berlin, told The Associated Press that after he asked the seven men to stop chanting anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli songs and slurs, he recorded them on his cell phone.
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"Myself and two German men sitting next to them have asked them to stop singing. The seven men started cursing at them and threaten them, and I started filming," Shapira told Ynet.
Shapira, who has been living in Berlin for 6 years and a total of 12 in Germany, said that the men were singing "F*** Israel, f*** Jews."
When he got off at the next subway stop, the men, who Shapira said were speaking both German and Arabic, followed him and demanded he delete his video. When he refused, some of the men spat on him and beat and kicked him, injuring his head.
"There were four or five people who were attacking me with fists, kicks and spitting," he said. "I have some bumps and scratches on my head, but generally I'm okay."
Shapira said he wasn't afraid to walk on the streets of the German capital. "Just because a few idiots went on the wrong train, it doesn't mean I need to be afraid to walk the streets," he said.
The World Jewish Congress condemned the attack sharply and said the incident illustrated the growing exposure of Jews to violent forms of anti-Semitism in Europe.
"Just like everybody else, Israeli citizens have a right to live in Europe in safety, without being singled out on the basis of their nationality or faith," WJC Associate Executive Vice-President Maram Stern told the AP.
Stern called on the authorities to do "everything in their power to prevent such attacks."