Man Harassed, Punched, Called ‘F–king Jew’ in Melbourne Attack
A Jewish man in Melbourne, Australia, was the victim of an antisemitic attack while on his way home from synagogue after the Sabbath, Australian Jewish News (AJN) reported on Thursday.
The 22-year-old, originally from Bondi in Sydney, was approached on Oct. 31 by an assailant who took his glasses off and bent them before giving them back. The offender then punched the victim in neck, which caused redness and swelling, verbally abused him about the war in Israel, and called him a “f–king Jew,” according to the police report of the incident.
When an off-duty police officer arrived at the scene and identified himself shortly after the attack started, the offender fled but dropped his wallet, which was recovered by police.
The incident took place while the victim was in Melbourne visiting friends.
The police report said the offender was initially abusive and aggressive toward his victim. The latter told AJN the assault left him shaken but not seriously injured. He said things could have escalated if a fellow Jew had not intervened.
“The person was drunk and he wasn’t very coordinated so he wasn’t able to hit me too hard,” said the victim, who is religious and was identifiably Jewish, according to AJN. “It could have been a lot worse, but another Jew was passing by and jumped out of his car, and started screaming at the guy and stopped him from hurting me more. I don’t know what would have happened if he hadn’t stepped in.”
Authorities identified the offender and he will be interviewed regarding the attack, a police officer told AJN.
The Jewish man said this is the first time he was the target of such an attack, and that he was told such incidents are quite rare in Melbourne. He said, “I was just unlucky, but then Hashem [God] helped me and I am okay.”