German-Palestinian jailed for knocking kippa off Jewish man’s head
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German-Palestinian jailed for knocking kippa off Jewish man’s head

21-year-old sentenced to 4.5 years in prison over 2018 assault in Bonn; Yitzhak Melamed says conduct of police, who mistook him for assailant, was worse than attacker’s

Illustrative: A participant wears a kippah during a 'wear a kippah' gathering to protest against anti-Semitism in front of the Jewish Community House on April 25, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. (Carsten Koall/Getty Images via JTA)
Illustrative: A participant wears a kippah during a 'wear a kippah' gathering to protest against anti-Semitism in front of the Jewish Community House on April 25, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. (Carsten Koall/Getty Images via JTA)

JTA — The man who attacked a visiting Jewish-American professor by throwing a kippa off his head several times in the western German city of Bonn was sentenced to four-and-a-half-years in prison.

The man, 21, a German citizen of Palestinian heritage, assaulted Professor Yitzhak Melamed in 2018. During the incident, German police officers wrestled to the ground and arrested the 50-year-old visiting professor after believing him to be the assailant.

The Israel-born professor was teaching philosophy at the University of Baltimore and was visiting Germany to deliver a lecture. While the professor and a friend were strolling in a park, the attacker shouted anti-Semitic insults in English and German, including “No Jew in Germany!” and knocked the kippa from the professor’s head, and then shoved the professor and hit him on the shoulder.

The professor, who did not attend the court hearing on Monday, said through his attorney that the actions of the police were worse than the assailant, the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported.

Yitzhak Melamed was beaten by a Palestinian and then by German police officers in a Bonn park. (Courtesy)

The interior minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, where Bonn is located, apologized for the incident, as did the head of Bonn police.

The incident came following a spate of anti-Semitic assaults in the country. The sentence was handed down days after a gunman tried and failed to shoot his way into a synagogue in the eastern German city of Halle during Yom Kippur services.

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