Jewish schools are on high alert after a bus load of Jewish children was bombarded by five teenagers screaming “Heil Hitler” and “kill the Jews” in Sydney on Wednesday.
Five teenagers have been arrested after they boarded the school bus and terrorised students as young as five while the vehicle travelled between Randwick and Bondi Junction, police said.
Mount Scopus Memorial College principal Rabbi James Kennard asked all school bus drivers to review their security requirements and procedures in the event of an emergency..
Principals of The King David School (KDS) and Leibler Yavneh College have told parents in letters and emails they were consulting with authorities and taking precautions to protect students and staff.
In his letter to parents, Yavneh College principal Roy Steinman wrote that he had concerns there would be a negative response from “some sectors” of society to reports that two former students had been wounded while fighting for the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) in Gaza.
The incident in Sydney is perceived by local Jewish groups as the latest in a string of anti-Semitic behaviour sparked by the outbreak of fighting in Gaza.
Three weeks ago, a former IDF soldier wearing a t-shirt with Hebrew writing on it was bashed in Elsternwick in what Victoria Police say was a racially motivated attack. Zachary Gomo, 28, was targeted by two young men who he said shouted “Jewish dog” and “Gaza” in Arabic as they started punching him.
“What really did disturb me was the reaction of some who basically suggest that I was the aggressor because of the T-shirt I was wearing, because it had Hebrew writing on it,” he said.
“It’s come to a point where a Jewish person can be attacked on the street and be held accountable for the attack. I’m not certain that same discourse would exist for other ethnic, religious and cultural groups.”
On the weekend, a visiting Israeli rabbi was also accosted in a shopping centre in Perth. He and his assistant were verbally assaulted, threatened and spat on by up to six youths. The incident came less than two weeks after the words “Zionist scum” were scrawled on a Jewish school in that state.
Jewish groups say they are being inundated with hate mail and are concerned about the emergence of Swastikas and other anti-Semitic imagery at pro-Palestinian demonstrations. The Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) has reported rising “harassment and intimidation” on campus.
President of Jewish peak body the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) Nina Bassat cites a “six-fold” rise in anti-Semitic reports in Victoria since early July.
While Victoria Police spokeswoman said she was not aware of a spike in anti-Semitic behaviour, she urged all affected members to contact police.
Previous Arab-Israeli conflicts have heightened tensions in Australia, yet Ms Bassat said the language has become “more virulent” and the scene has grown “uglier” and has started to bear “overtones of 1930s Germany”.
“The constant referencing to Hitler, that he should have finished us off, or we are acting like Nazis … it’s the reference back to the Shoah [Holocaust] that I find hardest to deal with – intellectually and emotionally,” Ms Bassat said.
“The younger children, who have grown up in a free multi-cultural Australia are having difficulty grappling with the fact that there can be so much hate,” she said.
“And for Holocaust survivors – this mocks and degrades what they’ve gone through – it brings what they have already gone through to another level.”
yes i do think sit s ahuge cocnern some of its has overtones of 1930s gernamnay and i dont need to elarateo on where that led
its extrmely disquietitng part for two sectiosn of our comm the older shoahd suriviro and hteir family segmenet and hte yougner hcildren who have grown up ina free mutli aus and have difficult with grappling with the fact that there can be so much hate and so much initemnet of vioelnc enad ugly langage
it mockis is and degrades what they’ve gone through on top of what they actuall yhabe gone through it brigns it to another level…
reprots made to community bodies…
have been advised… measures will be put in place.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.