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.
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.