Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A German court has jailed a Muslim of Afghan origin for three and a half years for stabbing an Orthodox Jewish rabbi in the stomach in the street

The court in the south-western city of Frankfurt convicted Sajed Aziz, 23, of grievous bodily harm. Witnesses said he had shouted anti-Semitic insults at the victim, Rabbi Zalman Gurevitch, 43. The case sparked a discussion in Germany about whether there were no-go areas for Jews in some cities. Passing the sentence, Judge Klaus Drescher said there had not been enough evidence to support the original charge of attempted manslaughter. However, he noted that Aziz had clearly called Mr Gurevitch a "Jewish pig". Aziz admitted in court that he had stabbed his victim on a Frankfurt street on 7 September 2007 but called it self-defence, saying Mr Gurevitch had grabbed him by the collar. The rabbi said Aziz had first shouted anti-Semitic slurs at him, then plunged a nearly three-inch (7-cm) blade into his lower abdomen.

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