BERLIN – Two young Israelis were attacked in a local disco at 3 a.m. on Monday because of their nationality, a Berlin police spokesman told The Jerusalem Post.

The attack was “anti-Semitic,” the spokesman said.


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According to statements from the two men, aged 18 and 22, the alleged assailant was a Palestinian male. He asked the 22-year-old about his nationality, and when he replied that he was a citizen of Israel, the perpetrator choked the 18-year-old and punched him in the face.

Police said that as the 18- year-old rushed to help his friend, the Palestinian hit him.

The assault took place in Berlin’s Friedrichshain district, which is popular among young Germans and Israelis for its lively bar and club scene.

The Palestinian threw a beer glass at the 18-year-old and fled the disco.

The disco’s 43-year-old bouncer then used pepper spray against the two Israelis, who eventually fled to their hotel and notified police. They were treated in a hospital.

The police spokesman told the Post that the authorities were searching for the suspect.

The number of attacks on Jews in Germany has risen dramatically this month. In late June, according to the Die Welt newspaper, German pupils of Lebanese, Palestinian and Iranian origin threw stones at Jewish dancers and shouted, “Jews out!” during a street festival in Hanover.

Dr. Juliane Wetzel, a member of a federally-funded commission devoted to researching and combating anti-Semitism, has suggested that Israel is part of the reason for the attacks.

“It’s been true for years that violent attacks on Jews in Germany occur mainly when something happens in the Mideast conflict,” Wetzel said in a statement to the DPA wire service.

Dr. Clemens Heni, a political scientist who has written about Islamic anti-Semitism in Germany, told the Post that “Wetzel’s comment is absurd” because she makes “Israel quasi-responsible for agitation and attacks against Jews in Hanover.”

Anti-Semitism experts such as the German-Jewish journalist Henryk M. Broder have also sharply criticized Wetzel because she frequently plays down the severity of Muslimbased anti-Semitism and has ignored Iranian anti-Semitism while focusing on bias against German Muslims.