Thursday, May 31, 2007

Antisemitism in Melbourne

I heard on ABC radio this evening that a young man, Danny Pollak, was attacked and bashed on a train the other evening supposedly for wearing a yamulka. The report on the ABC news site appears here:

Police investigate train attack on Jewish man

Police are investigating after a Jewish man was attacked and abused over his religion on a Melbourne train.
Danny Pollak, 27, was travelling from North Melbourne to Flinders Street station on Tuesday night when he was approached by a group of men.
Mr Pollak was wearing his yarmulke at the time and was hit on the head. "Unfortunately I'm used to people insulting me because I'm Jewish or because I'm wearing my yarmulke," he said. "But it's really the first time that I've actually been physically assaulted so I was really a bit shocked and shaken up by it."

Manny Waks from the Jewish Anti-Defamation Commission says such attacks are of great concern. "I think this is a worrying trend," he said. "We certainly don't want to sound alarmist because Jews in Australia do have it very good compared to some of our counterparts in Europe and the US, not to mention the Middle East, [but] this is a serious issue."
It concerns me that this young man feels that he is generally discriminated against because he wears a yamulka. My peers don't speak of being insulted because they appear obviously Jewish. But maybe things are a bit rougher out in the world these days for young people who attend Uni etc.

Whatever the case I hope the police act quickly and decisively to apprehend these thugs. In or easygoing Australian society no one should feel like a second class citizen in any way - and especially because of their religion and mode of dress.