Antonia Yamin, a Europe correspondent for Israel’s Kan public broadcaster, was in the middle of her Hebrew-language report when a group of young men interrupted her in Berlin’s Neukölln district.
While they tried to block the camera, the reporter was visibly annoyed at the intrusion, but just a few seconds after they left, she was forced to flee the scene along with the cameraman as a firecracker was thrown at them.
She tweeted a video of the incident with the caption:“The truth is I had a very nice day at work today. But between one interview and another I had to stop to report about the Brexit deal. As you can see on the video you can't report in Hebrew in Berlin’s Neukölln neighbourhood without being disturbed and without people throwing firecrackers at you.”
האמת שבסך הכל עבר עלי יום נחמד בעבודה. היו לי כמה מרואיינים מדהימים שאני כבר ממש משתוקקת שתראו בסדרת כתבות שתעלה בקרוב. בין מרואיין אחד לשני הייתי צריכה לעצור לרגע כדי לדווח על הסכם הברקזיט המתגבש. אבל מתברר שבשכונת נויקלן בברלין אי אפשר לדווח בעברית מבלי שיפריעו ויזרקו עליך נפץ pic.twitter.com/1TKJqora5b— Antonia Yamin (@antonia_yamin) 25 November 2018
Haaretz reported that Yamin described the assailants as 18-19-year-old men of ‘migrant background’.
Speaking to the German daily Bild, she alleged that the intervention could be explained by the fact that she was speaking Hebrew and had Hebrew writing on her microphone, although she avoided saying if this was the real reason behind the assault.
1/ Amir and I just left the police station (quite surprising but they called us and asked us to come and give a statement). We hope that the police will succeed in catching the young men who threw the firecracker at us.— Antonia Yamin (@antonia_yamin) 26 November 2018
2/ I would like to praise my colleagues here in Germany who reported about the incident in a very serious way in all the major newspapers in the country. For those who do not read German I will repeat what I told them — I do not shout headlines like "anti-Semitism" because— Antonia Yamin (@antonia_yamin) 26 November 2018
3/ I take the subject very seriously. I do not know for certain why the young men threw the firecracker. I can only talk about facts and they are: I spoke Hebrew while reporting on the street, my microphone has the name of my channel written on it in big Hebrew letters— Antonia Yamin (@antonia_yamin) 26 November 2018
4/ and they asked me "where does it go." I emphasize that in my opinion it is less important whether the men knew that I was Jewish/Israeli or that they just wanted to harass a woman in the street. I just know that there are areas in Berlin where young people allow themselves to— Antonia Yamin (@antonia_yamin) 26 November 2018
5/ behave as if the street is theirs and this is not okay! I (even though half German) know that I am a "guest" in this country and that is why I often set myself higher standards of behavior — because that's what guests in a country are supposed to do.— Antonia Yamin (@antonia_yamin) 26 November 2018
Neukölln Mayor Martin Hikel described the incident as ‘totally unacceptable’.
‘It doesn’t matter what triggered their behaviour: I condemn every form of anti-Semitism. Jews and Israelis should not have to be afraid’ to be in this district, he said.
The footage was widely shared on social media, with many Germans apologising for what had happened to Yamin:
I'm german, and I feel sorry you are treated that way. There is no excuse for behaviour such as this, and the german state needs to punish this behaviour with the full might of the state. No pardon for racism/antisemitism!— Satoshi Billionaire (@satoshi_billion) 26 November 2018
I'm from Germany, and I'm deeply embarassed about this incident. Let me assure you that these assholes are not what makes out our country.— Michael Kallweitt (@wasfuer1theater) 26 November 2018
#Berlin I am really sorry. As a German I feel ashamed. Most of us are not like that.— Jürgen Kaiser (@Juergen_Kaiser) 26 November 2018
Others stressed that those men were migrants, and that given Angela Merkel’s open-doors policy, such an attack was not unexpected:
Welcome to Merkels Migration Germany 😪. It's horrible.— Der Patriotische Demokrat (@patriotischerde) 27 November 2018
Not even Germans— Intro (@Intro_R6S) 26 November 2018
Scandalous, those people should go back to their muslim home countries instead of sickening our world— blauwdruifje (@birdinthesky1) 26 November 2018
Those bastards are not german! So there is no need to be ahamed, but to fight back!— Chris Kanns (@Der_Elbgeist) 26 November 2018
what do you expect if u import millions of muslims in to germany?— . (@OBE_Richard) 26 November 2018
Earlier this month, a group of Germany-based Jewish organisations called on Berlin to clamp down on anti-Semitism, citing a wave of anti-Jewish assaults across the country over the past few months.