Australia: Anti-Semites Attack School Bus, Shout 'Kill the Jews'
A group of drunken anti-Semites terrorized a school bus filled with Jewish students in Australia, shouting Nazi slogans and threatening to murder everyone on board on Wednesday.
Speaking to Australia's Daily Telegraph, mother Jackie Blackburn said her 12, 10 and eight-year-old daughters, who were on their way home from Mount Sinai, Mariah and Emanuel kindergarten in Bondi, were left "traumatized" by the attack.
She said she was alerted to the incident after her daughter called her hysterical with fear.
"She said: ‘Hey Mummy, please help us, there are eight strange men who have been let on to a school bus and they are screaming ‘Heil Hitler! Kill the Jews!’ they want to cut out our throats’."
Chillingly, at that point "the phone cut off and I couldn’t hear anything," she told The Telegraph.
"The next thing her friend Noah Stanton called me and said “Jacqui it’s bad, it’s really bad. Get hold of my mum. Please help us!"
"They were screaming ‘Heil Hitler’, ‘kill the Jews’, ‘Palestine must kill you Jews’, ‘we’re going to cut your throats and slice your throats open’ — just all very bad anti-Semitic stuff," she said.
Blackburn said she could not understand why the bus driver - who was new on the job - "opened the doors for these strange men and allowed them on to torment the kids." But when she confronted him "he denied everything."
"He wouldn’t give me his name or details. He said they weren’t drunk, he was justifying why he let them on, he was denying what the kids had gone through and been traumatized by."
"I’m shaking like a leaf. My kids are on a private school bus it’s only for Jewish schoolchildren."
Two of the offenders were described as "twins" with blonde hair.
Isabelle Stanton, another mother whose daughters were on the bus, said she was shocked that the wave of anti-Semitism which has engulfed Europe recently had found its way to Australia.
"I am shaken up because I never expected something like this to happen in Australia and in Sydney. I expect it in Belgium where I’m from where there’s been anti-Semitic attacks," she said.
“It’s absolutely wrong to import something from the Middle East, I have no words, when children are involved it triggers some terrible emotions.”
Her daughter, 12-year-old Noah, said the men looked "drunk" and couldn't walk straight, and boasted that they had just taken drugs.
"We were panicking and crying. When they got off the bus they said ‘f*** Jews’ and ‘stop taking over Palestine’ and ‘we will kill you and cut your throats’."
While anti-Semitism in Australia is relatively rare, the country has clearly not been immune to the trend of Islamists, along with extremists on the far-left and far-right, using the conflict between Israel and Hamas to stoke anti-Semitism.
On Monday a visiting hassidic rabbi, Rabbi Avraham Shalom Halberstam - also known as the Stropkover rebbe - was attacked along with his assistant in a shopping mall in the city of Perth.
A witness, Danny Mayer, described to JTA how six teenagers surrounded the two men, hurling abuse at them.
"They were surrounding him, so I raced over to get him into the car and they surrounded the car screaming, ‘You are killing babies in Gaza,’" he recounted.
He said the attackers ran away when he began filming them, but added that "the wider community needs to know that Jews around the world are being affected because they are Jews."
And just two weeks ago, vandals daubed the words "Zionist scum" on a Jewish school in Perth.
Vil Alhadeff, CEO of the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies which represents local Jews, said he was "deeply disturbed" at the bus attack." condemned the racist ambush.
"We are working with the police and the state government to ensure that proper and adequate security measures are put in place," he said.