Ottawa: Anti-Semites Attempt Machete Murder of Israel Supporters

An Israeli and a pro-Israel friend, students at Carleton U., were nearly killed by a group of assailants, one of whom hurled a machete at them.

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Gil Ronen, | updated: 10:48

Canada machete attack
Canada machete attack
Israel news graphic

An apparent attempted murder of pro-Israel students was reported in In Ottawa, Canada, on Monday. Two students – one Israeli and the other pro-Israel – were assaulted by a group of about 10 people, one of whom hurled a machete that just missed the head of one of the victims.

The Ottawa Citizen reported that the incident took place near a bar in the Gatineau area at about 2:00 a.m. Monday.

Nick Bergamini, 22, vice-president of the Carleton University Students’ Association, and his Israeli roommate Mark Klibanov, 20, were leaving the Le Volt bar on Promenade du Portage when the group of anti-Semites began yelling at them in English and Arabic, calling them 'Zionists' and 'Jews.'

Bergamini said he recognized one of the assailants as a student at Carleton University. “I told them not to do this because I knew who they were, but I got hit hard on the back of the head. We ran to the bar entrance because bar security was there.”

'Open the trunk'
Once the crowd that surrounded them had dispersed, the two men decided to walk across the Chaudière Bridge to Ottawa. As they walked through a parking lot, however, a car with three men inside pulled up beside them.

“One of them rolled down the window and said: ‘I am the one who hit you, you f------ Jew,’” Bergamini told the Citizen. “Two guys came out of the car, and one of them tried to kick my roommate. One attacker said, ‘Open the trunk,’ and another guy pulled out a machete that glinted in the street lights. I yelled that they had weapons, and we started running as fast as we could. I saw the guy wind up with the machete as I looked back.”

Klibanov said the machete missed the back of Bergamini's head by about a foot as they ran across the bridge to Ottawa and escaped their assailants.

Gatineau officials confirmed that police were investigating the attack, but provided no further details.

Jason MacDonald, a spokesman for the University, said: “The Israel and Palestine issue is one of the things that can cause people to become emotional. Our job is to make sure that these debates can happen without anyone’s personal safety being threatened. We have met with student groups on both sides of such issues and told them that we are not here to tell them what to think, but certain kinds of behavior are not acceptable.”

Bergamini said he is well-known on campus for being pro-Israel and that he has a pro-Israel Facebook page.