‘Don’t Be Afraid to Fight Back’: Israeli Student Lihi Aharon Stands Up to Antisemitic Assailant on New York Subway
“Do not be afraid to step up and do not be afraid to return the fight,” was the message of a young Israeli woman living in New York who was verbally and physically attacked on the subway by an antisemitic fellow passenger this week.
In a video posted on Tuesday, Israeli student Lihi Aharon explained that once she boarded the train, she asked the female passenger to remove her belongings from the adjacent empty seat so she could sit down. However, the woman refused and Aharon found another seat next to a man who happened to be wearing a kippah. The woman then directed a volley of antisemitic abuse at the Jewish man.
Much of the woman’s expletive-laden tirade was captured by Aharon on her camera phone. In an attempt to stop Aharon from filming the abuse, the woman lashed out at her and grabbed her camera. In the ensuing melee, Aharon’s face was badly scratched, leaving her with a deep scar. Nevertheless, she fought back, and the woman was arrested by police at the next station.
Along with the stream of insults, the woman expressed joy at last week’s gun attack on a kosher market in Jersey City, emphasizing that she wished that all Jews would share the same fate. She also repeatedly used the Islamic religious phrase “Allahu akhbar” as she sniped at Aharon and the Jewish man alongside her.
Pointing to the scar on her face at the end of the video, Aharon said she wore it proudly. “I stood up for my people and my country,” she declared.
Watch Lihi Aharon fight back against an antisemite on the New York subway (warning: contains strong language and antisemitic, homophobic and racist epithets):