A 36-year old man was left with life-threatening injuries after being attacked by three men for refusing to say ‘Free Palestine’.

According to police in Berlin, the victim, a German citizen, was walking on the pavement on Monday night when he was approached by the group of men who asked him to shout the slogan aloud.

When the victim refused, the men cornered him, beat him up and kicked him, causing serious injuries to his head. Police say the victim lost consciousness for a short time and suffered life-threatening injuries.

The three attacked fled the scene, and witnesses called for an ambulance.

In a statement on Twitter, the American Jewish Committee’s Berlin office said the incident demonstrated that “Israel-related antisemitism is one of the essential and most widespread manifestations of modern antisemitism.”

The German-Israeli Society Youth Forum commented, “’Free Palestine’ is not a peaceful slogan, but is used to call for the destruction of the only Jewish state and is therefore clearly antisemitic. The attack shows that Israel-related antisemitism is a violent reality in Germany.”

The group cautioned that incidents of antisemitism in Germany are increasingly are not only verbally abusive, but are also expressed by physical attacks.

“This is a development that must be countered with all force and all means,” the Youth Forum demanded. “This includes increased education and prevention, as well as repressive means and tougher criminal prosecution.”

“Our thoughts are with the victim of this antisemitic attack and we wish him a speedy and full recovery. In order for Germany to remain a home for Jews, something must change as quickly as possible,” the group said.

The German Jewish NGO Values Initiative described the attack as a “hideous act” and a “brutal case of Israel-related antisemitism which is expressed more and more aggressively in Germany.”

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