Israeli reporter attacked in Berlin ‘for speaking Hebrew’

Antonia Yamin of the Kan public broadcaster publishes video of men interrupting her and throwing a firecracker, before fleeing

Israeli journalist Antonia Yamin reporting in Berlin, Germany, before being interrupted in a video published on November 25, 2018. (Screen capture: Twitter)
Israeli journalist Antonia Yamin reporting in Berlin, Germany, before being interrupted in a video published on November 25, 2018. (Screen capture: Twitter)

An Israeli journalist was recently attacked in Berlin while trying to film a report, with video capturing a group of men harassing her and then apparently attacking her with a firecracker.

Antonia Yamin claimed the attack occurred because she spoke Hebrew, with several men throwing a firecracker at her and at her cameraman, while trying to film a report.

A video of the incident was published Sunday on Twitter by Yamin, Europe correspondent for Israel’s public broadcaster Kan.

“The truth is I had a very nice day at work today,” Yamin wrote, saying she was in Germany as part of an upcoming series of reports and interviews, but had taken a break to film a report about Brexit negotiations between the UK and the European Union.

While reporting in Hebrew on a local street, several men can be seen in the video approaching Yamin and interrupting her. The reporter is visibly annoyed for a few seconds, before hurrying away along with the person behind the camera as a firecracker is thrown at them.

“As you can see on the video you can’t report in Hebrew in Neukölln Berlin without being disturbed and without people throwing firecrackers at you,” Yamin wrote.

The video ends with the firecracker exploding, after the group of men has left.

Yamin was born in Mannheim to a German Christian mother and an Israeli father, and has lived in Israel since childhood.

Neukölln is one of Berlin’s 12 boroughs, and is known to have one of the highest percentage of immigrants in the German capital, although it has undergone rapid gentrification in recent years.

German daily Bild reported that the assailants were immigrants.

Yamin later tweeted that she had been asked by police to give a statement but shied from labeling the attack as anti-Semitic.

Speaking to Bild, Yamin suggested she was targeted because she was speaking Hebrew and had Hebrew writing on her microphone, although she said she did not know definitively if that was the reason for the attack.

She said she only goes to neighborhoods such as Neukölln when she has to do so for work.

In July, dozens of Jewish organizations in Germany called on the government to crack down on anti-Semitism following a string of anti-Jewish attacks, perpetrated by Muslim immigrants and by people identifying with the far-right.

Germany was shocked by a case of anti-Semitism in April involving a Syrian migrant who lashed out with his belt at an Arab Israeli man wearing a kippa. A video of the street assault, filmed by the victim on his smartphone, sparked widespread public revulsion as it spread on social media, and triggered street rallies in solidarity with Jews.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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