Shalom Life | September 16, 2014

Australian Teens Threaten Jewish Children on School Bus, Police Say Attack is 'Isolated' Incident

Drunken anti-Semitic teens who shouted "Kill the Jews" at small children have been arrested

By: Daniel Koren

Published: August 7th, 2014 in News » World

Australian Teens Threaten Jewish Children on School Bus, Police Say Attack is 'Isolated' Incident

A group of drunken teenage anti-Semites terrorized a school bus consisting only of Jewish children in Australia on Wednesday, shouting Nazi slogans like "Kill the Jews" and "Heil Hitler!"

They also threatened to murder the children, according to reports, yelling "we're going to cut your throats!"

According to Australia's Daily Telegraph, a mother of three children who were all on board - 12, 10 and 8-year-old girls - said her kids were "traumatized" after the attack.

The girls were on their way home from Mount Sinai, Mariah and Emanuel kindergarten in Bondi.

"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’," the mother said, reiterating what her daughter told her.

"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 added.

The bus driver of the school bus was apparently new on the job, but that, naturally, didn't stop the parents from asking why he "opened the doors for these strange men and allowed them on to torment the kids."

"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."

Another mother, identified as Isabelle Stanton, said she could not fathom that the flood of anti-Semitism that has been wreaking havoc in Europe has 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.”

According to Stanton's daughter, the teenagers were drunk and stated that they had also taken drugs.

The attack occurred just days after a hassidic rabbi was attacked in a shopping mall in the Australian city of Perth.

Police have since launched a full investigation, but have yet to interview the suspects because they were still inebriated upon their arrest. They have said, however, that it was not a planned attack, and merely an isolated incident.

Five youths aged 15 - 17 were arrested early Thursday morning in Rose Bay, claims superintendent Jason Box. Box says that the schoolbus of Jewish children wasn't targeted.

"Once they've got on this bus, I believe that they've then seen the target audience and that's encouraged their behavior. I do not believe it was targeted," he said. "I know international incidents at the moment do cause concern, but in my opinion it is isolated and random and I'm hopeful that everything will be put in context for this incident."

Australian Jewish leaders, however, are "deeply concerned," given the rise of anti-Semitic incidents around the world since Israel's war against Hamas terrorists began a month ago.

"We as a community are profoundly troubled by this latest event and the sequence of anti-Semitic incidents that has preceded it," read a statement from the Executive Council of Australian Jewry. "The gravity of this incident should not be underestimated."

Superintendent Box added that the children were not physically harmed, but were traumatized by what had taken place.

Vic Alhadeff, chief executive of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, visited with the families of the children after the attack. "This is unacceptable. It is not what we do in Australia. We live in a country which comprises 200 different cultures and groups, and that diversity is what makes us the richest country in the world," he said.

Charges have yet to been laid on the five teenage suspects.

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