Prosecutors drop case of Berlin rabbi allegedly spit on by Arabic speakers
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Prosecutors drop case of Berlin rabbi allegedly spit on by Arabic speakers

State prosecution confirms it halted the investigation after Yehuda Teichtal, president of the city’s Chabad community, was unable to identify the suspects

Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal in August 2019. (Photo Jorg Carstensen/picture alliance via Getty Images via JTA)
Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal in August 2019. (Photo Jorg Carstensen/picture alliance via Getty Images via JTA)

BERLIN (JTA) — An investigation was dropped in the case of a Berlin rabbi allegedly spit on after leaving synagogue services.

State prosecutors confirmed Thursday that they had dropped the case after Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal, president of the city’s Chabad community, was unable to identify the suspects.

Teichtal had reported that several men insulted him in Arabic and spat on him from an apartment balcony after he left services at his synagogue in the Wilmersdof district of Berlin around 9:00 p.m. on July 26. The rabbi was in the company of his young son.

Four suspects questioned by investigators reportedly denied any involvement in the incident. No evidence was discovered on confiscated cell phones and no other witnesses were found.

Prosecutors explained to Teichtal’s lawyer in September that they were unable to proceed in the case. Ultimately, the lawyer agreed with the decision.

Teichtal told reporters he was disappointed in the outcome and suggested laws needed to be changed to make it easier to charge suspects in cases like his.

“We need this as Jews, given the increased threat of anti-Semitism,” he said. “The entire society needs this.”

The incident was one of several attacks last summer on Jews in the German capital. At the time, Teichtal said he was still convinced that “most people in Berlin want Jews to be able to live openly as Jews, without fear of being cursed at, spat on or beaten up.”

Approximately 1,800 anti-Semitic incidents were reported in Berlin in 2018, an increase of nearly 20 percent above the previous year.

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