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The bad news just keeps coming out of Australia these days, with news of yet another, horrifying antisemitic incident.
The men allegedly boarded the bus which was carrying children from Mount Sinai, Mariah and Emanuel kindergarten in Bondi.
One witness said her three daughters aged eight, 10 and 12 on the bus were traumatised.
“The bus driver opened the doors for these strange men and allowed them on to torment the kids,” Jackie Blackburn said.
“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.
“I’m shaking like a leaf. My kids are on a private school bus it’s only for Jewish schoolchildren.”
She described the panicked call made to her by one of her children. “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’.”
“Then the phone cut off and I couldn’t hear anything.’
The next thing her friend Noah Stanton called me and said “Jacqui it’s bad, it’s really bad. Get hold of my mum. Please help us!” she said.
The men got off at Bondi Junction after hysterical children phoned their parents in tears.
Mrs Blackburn pointed the finger of blame at the bus driver, who she believed was new.
“I went to the bus driver and said ‘how dare you’ and he denied everything. 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 traumatised by.
“I have never seen the look in their faces, their eyes are all swollen and red.”
Noah, 12, was sitting on the back of the bus.
“They got on and couldn’t walk properly and looked drunk and said they had just been pumping drugs in the city,” she said.
“They said ‘come sit with us, we won’t do anything’ so we went to the bus driver and said ‘get them off the bus’ and he said ‘don’t worry’ and told them to ‘zip your lips’.
“We were panicking and crying. When they got off the bus they said ‘f*** Jews’ and ‘stop taking over Palestine’ and ‘we will kill you and cut your throats’.”
Two of the offenders were described as being twins with blonde hair.
According to medical sources in the coastal enclave, Israel’s air strikes and ground invasion have claimed 1865 Palestinian lives so far while more than 9400 others have been wounded. The Israeli military says 64 of its soldiers have been killed in the conflict, but Hamas puts the fatalities at more than 150.
Clearly, the incident itself is very troubling. But what else bothers me about this report is how it has been framed, starting with a description of the antisemitic incident itself, and then ending with a description of the numbers of Gazans killed, along with the above photo and caption. As if events in Gaza are the cause of antisemitism.
As such, The Daily Telegraph is not merely describing antisemitism. It is rationalizing it.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Opposition to Israel is not the cause of antisemitism. But more often than not, antisemitism is the cause of opposition to Israel.