A group of drunken anti-Semites in Australia attacked a school bus filled with Jewish children. The group chanted Nazi slogans and threatened to murder all the children on board.
The bus was transporting about 30 children aged 5-12 from three Jewish schools. Witnesses say that eight male teens, believed to be between the ages of 15 and 17, boarded the bus and began to terrorize the children.
One mother, Jackie Blackburn, told Australia’s Daily Telegraph that her three daughters, who were on their way from Mount Sinai, Mariah and Emanuel kindergarten in Bondi were left “traumatized.” The mother explained that her children called her from the bus, 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’.”
Blackburn recalls how at that point, “the phone cut off and I couldn’t hear a thing.”
Aside from “Heil Hitler” and “Kill the Jews,” the drunks yelled “Palestine must kill you Jews” and “We’re going to cut your throats and slice your throats open.”
Blackburn did not understand why the bus driver “opened the doors for these strange men and allowed them to torment the kids.” The bus driver denied any allegations and said that the men were not drunk. He further denied that any of the children were traumatized.
“I’m shaking like a leaf. My kids are on a private school bus and it’s only for Jewish schoolchildren,” Blackburn said.
Police in Australia arrested five youth over the incident. They were questioned by police but released without any charges into the custody of their parents pending a further investigation.
Following the incident, Australia’s Jewish community is taking extra security precautions around its schools.
The Executive Council of Australian Jewry expressed concerns over what it believes are rising levels of anti-Semitism in Australia.
President Robert Goot and Executive Director Peter Wertheim issued a joint statement which said, “We are deeply concerned y accounts of an incident involving racial abuse and threats of violence directed towards Jewish primary school students on a bus in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.”
According to the Executive Council, since 1989 they have seen a clear correlation between increased incidents of anti-Semitism in Australia with the escalation of conflict in the Middle East.
On August 4, an Israeli rabbi visiting the Australian city of Perth was attacked by a gang outside a shopping mall. Over the last two weeks, several homes and schools in Perth and Melbourne were vandalized by anti-Semitic graffiti.
In July, a Jewish man was walking in Melbourne when he was called a “Jewish dog” and severely beaten by two men.