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CRIME

Man found guilty of bashing Israeli teen

A 20-year-old cook was found guilty Tuesday of beating an Israeli teenager while yelling ''Jewish swine'' in the Saxony-Anhalt town of Laucha.

Man found guilty of bashing Israeli teen
Alexander P., left, with his lawyer. Photo: DPA

Despite the accused man Alexander P.’s denial that the crime was anti-Semitic, Judge Martina Zufall found him guilty of assault and two counts of causing bodily harm. She gave him a suspended sentence of eight months’ jail.

Zufall accepted the prosecution’s case that Alexander P., who belonged to the far-right scene and had two previous convictions for causing bodily harm, had shouted ”Jewish swine” during the assault on Noam Kohen, 17, at a bus stop on April 16.

She rejected Alexander P.’s claim that he was simply drunk and had been provoked.

“I flipped out in my severe state of drunkenness when I saw him because he offered my cousin drugs,” Alexander P. told the court in the town of Naumburg.

According to a June report in weekly newspaper Die Zeit, Alexander P. punched Kohen in the face without warning and yelled, “Go back where you came from, you Jewish pig!”

Kohen tried to flee but his attacker followed him, grabbed him by the jacket, threw him to the ground and continued punching and kicking him.

The case also appears to raise questions about whether bystanders did enough to intervene. Die Zeit reported that the police file recorded that six witnesses saw the attack and tried to stop Alexander P. “verbally” but did not physically intervene.

Alexander P. told the court that the crime had been seen by several witnesses and that he was acquainted with some of the people waiting at the bus stop.

“Of the others, no one dared approach me,” he said when asked whether anyone had intervened.

It was not until a driver stopped his car and intervened that Kohen, who moved from Israel to Laucha with his mother and brother eight years ago, escaped the assault.

The court closed the trial to the public after the accused gave evidence to protect the identities of minors giving evidence, including the victim.

State prosecutor Gudrun Anacker said the crime was motivated by anti-Semitism and called for an eight-month suspended sentence in juvenile detention, while the defence asked for a six-month suspended sentence.

Anacker also demanded a monetary fine that would go towards the Buchenwald concentration camp memorial.

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GERMANY AND ISRAEL

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

The German government says it is in talks over further compensation for victims of the attack on the Munich Olympics, as the 50th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

Ahead of the commemoration in September, relatives of the Israelis killed have indicated they are unhappy with what Germany is offering.

“Conversations based on trust are taking place with representatives of the victims’ families,” a German interior ministry spokesman told AFP when asked about the negotiations.

He did not specify who would benefit or how much money had been earmarked, saying only that any package would “again” be financed by the federal government, the state of Bavaria and the city of Munich.

On September 5th, 1972, eight gunmen broke into the Israeli team’s flat at the Olympic village, shooting dead two and taking nine Israelis hostage, threatening to kill them unless 232 Palestinian prisoners were released.

West German police responded with a bungled rescue operation in which all nine hostages were killed, along with five of the eight hostage-takers and a police officer.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists  held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Horst Ossingert

The spokeswoman for the victims’ families, Ankie Spitzer, told the German media group RND that the amount currently on the table was “insulting” and threatened a boycott of this year’s commemorations.

She said Berlin was offering a total of €10 million including around €4.5 million already provided in compensation between 1972 and 2002 — an amount she said did not correspond to international standards. 

“We are angry and disappointed,” said Spitzer, the widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer who was killed in the attack. “We never wanted to talk publicly about money but now we are forced to.”

RND reported that the German and Israeli governments would like to see an accord by August 15th.

The interior ministry spokesman said that beyond compensation, Germany intended to use the anniversary for fresh “historical appraisal, remembrance and recognition”.

He said this would include the formation of a commission of German and Israeli historians to “comprehensively” establish what happened “from the perspective of the year 2022”.

This would lead to “an offer of further acts of acknowledgement of the relatives of the victims of the attack” and the “grave consequences” they suffered.

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