'Gas the Jews' shouted at Australian Jewish teens

According to the Australian daily 'The Age,' the three had gotten onto the wrong bus after an afternoon of shopping when they were accosted by a large group of teenagers.

February 4, 2019 10:38
2 minute read.
Jewish man in front of swastika at Shoah memorial

Jewish man in front of swastika 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Three Jewish teenagers have been left traumatized after being subjected to antisemitism on Friday while on a bus in suburban Melbourne, Australia.

According to the Australian daily The Age, the three had gotten onto the wrong bus after an afternoon of shopping when they were accosted by a large group of teenagers, who started shouting abusive language at them.

“A girl in the group asked, ‘What would you do if I grabbed [the skull cap] off your head?’” one of the Jewish boys, Elimelech, said. “The person behind me then said, ‘Gas the Jews.’”

Elimelech said that he attempted to defuse the situation to protect his friends, but they were outnumbered by the group.

He told The Age that he had politely explained that the skull cap, called a kippah, “represented his Jewish heritage and beliefs, but that only seemed to encourage their antisemitic remarks.”

Elimelech added that he has also experienced antisemitism while walking in his neighborhood.

“I’ve had situations where people have yelled out derogatory comments from a car going past on Saturday as we walk to Sabbath [services],” he said. “People should be aware of the Holocaust and how damaging these comments are to someone who is a descendant of people who got killed and murdered.”

Anti-Defamation Commission chairman Dvir Abramovich said on Facebook that he “feared a further increase in antisemitic attacks,” and has “urged Melbournians to take a stand against such abhorrent remarks.”

Abramovich, who was told about the incident by the boys’ families, said the community must adopt “a zero-tolerance approach to bigotry” and avoid downplaying what had become a “rampant” problem.

Last week, a Melbourne rabbi was verbally abused with antisemitic slurs while driving to his local synagogue.

The rabbi, who wished to remain anonymous out of fear of further attacks, began to film the incident. As he did so, the man in the car next to him continued to shout at him, “Would you like me to get out and show you what Hitler did? You should have died in Auschwitz.”

The rabbi added that the man had also called him a “dirty Jew,” and had said that “Hitler should have killed you all.”

The video also shows the middle-aged man calling the rabbi a “f*****g selfish cu** of a Jew” while they remained stationary at a red traffic light.

He said that he had picked up his mobile phone to make a call while stopped at the red light when the middle-aged man began yelling.

Abramovich said afterwards that the “terrifying incident provides further evidence that racists and extremists are less inhibited about expressing their poisonous bigotry in public.”

“We know that violent words can turn deadly, and such disturbing outbursts, which shock the conscience, not only traumatize the victim but shake the affected community and leave it scared and vulnerable,” he added.

Antisemitism in Australia has seen a sharp rise over the last year. The Executive Council of Australian Jewry has reported an unprecedented 60% rise in antisemitic incidents across Australia in 2018, compared to 2017.

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