Accused in attack on Jewish professor in Germany sentenced

A German man of Palestinian heritage, accused of having struck the kippa from the head of a Jewish professor from the US in an attack in Bonn, has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison — though part of that term had to do with a conviction for robbery and another with a charge of abusive language in a separate case.

“I’m very ashamed of it,” the 21-year-old accused said of his actions in assaulting Yitzhak Melamed in 2018. For the attack, he was charged with bodily harm and incitement of hatred with an antisemitic motive.

The presiding judge in the Bonn court, Susanne Grunert, said that by hitting the kippa off Melamed’s head several times, he had endangered public order.

But Melamed himself, who was not present in court, said through his lawyer that the actions “by a gang of four Bonn police officers” who manhandled him after the attack because they mistook him for the assailant had been much worse than the assault itself.

The interior minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, where Bonn is situated, apologised for the 2018 incident, as did the head of Bonn police. An earlier investigation by the public prosecutor found, however, that there was no basis for legal action against the officers involved.

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