Jewish Council Condemns Assault Rabbi Stabbed in Germany
The stabbing of a rabbi in Frankfurt by a young man speaking Arabic has prompted Germany's Jewish community to renew its warnings about no-go areas for minorities in Germany, and to warn that Germany's young Muslims are becoming radicalized by hate preachers.
A police sketch of the suspect. Witnesses said he looked Mediterranean in appearance and possibly Arab.
Rabbi Zalman Gurevitch, 42, was walking home from his synagogue in Frankfurt's Westend district with two guests on Friday evening when he was approached by a young man described by witnesses as being of "southern" in appearance.
The man, flanked by two women, spoke to Gurevitch in what sounded like Arabic and then switched to German and said: "You shit Jew, I'm going to kill you." He stabbed him in the stomach and ran off.
Gurevitch was rushed to the hospital and underwent emergency surgery. He is now recovering and told Bild newspaper in a statement passed on by a friend: "I am much better. My wife is by my side all the time. The last thing I want is for this attack to be trivialized and swept under the carpet."
German politicians expressed outrage at the attack, which was reported in the national media.
Charlotte Knobloch, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said in a statement: "I have visited the victim in hospital and I'm shocked and angry. In light of the increasingly frequent acts of violence against minorities in this country, one has to ask whether the debate about no-go areas shouldn't be extended to other parts of Germany and not just the east."
Talk of no-go areas resurfaced after last month's attack on eight Indian men in the eastern town of Mügeln by a group of Germans shouting "Foreigners Out." The economically depressed east has seen a high incidence of attacks on foreigners ever since unification in 1990.
Dieter Graumann, the vice president of the Jewish Council, said Islamic hate preachers in Germany were partly to blame for assaults such as Friday's attack.
"We oppose leveling blanket accusations at the Muslim community because the majority of Muslims in Germany comdemn acts of violence in the name of Islam, but leading representatives of Islamic groups have to be asked what they are doing to stop hate preachers and the growing radicalization among young Muslims in this country," Graumann said in a statement.