Anti-Semitism on the Streets of Britain.
Anti-Semitism on streets of Britain.
The International Business Times reports,
A Jewish man was subjected to a string of anti-Semitic abuse on the streets of two major cities in Britain in shocking video footage.
In an echo of a similar experiment carried out in Paris in February, a man filmed himself walking in Manchester and Bradford while wearing a tradition Jewish hat to gauge the reaction of passers-by.
Journalist Jonathan Kalmus said he received abuse eight times more abuse in just a tenth of the time, in his experiment for the Daily Mail, compared to the Paris case.
A similar test carried out in the German capital, Berlin, passed without incident reported the Mail. “There was a shout of ‘you Jew’ at me as I crossed the road to Bradford City Park,” Kalmus reported.
“Minutes later a man turned his head and yelled ‘fight the Jewish scum’ just behind my back. Some time later, three youths shouted at me across a street repeatedly: ‘You’re a Jew, not a Muslim… Jew, Jew, Jew run!'”
Kalmus called the results “a horrible reality”. Meanwhile, responding to the camera evidence, the leader of Bradford Council claimed the social fabric was strong in the city.
Councillor David Green said: “There are generally very good community relations in our city. Like everywhere else, there are individuals who would discriminate against other people based on their religion, ethnic origin, gender or disability, but as a council we will always challenge this when it is brought to our attention.”
However, the experience was not completely negative. In a Bradford coffee shop, Kalmus was greeted by a Muslim stranger with open arms. “Whatever was the reason for this man’s gesture and insistence that I shake his hand, it was warm and hopeful,” he said.
The Algemeiner also reports the Mail’s videos,
“It took me just one minute. One minute of walking one single, busy major street in Manchester before abuse was flung at me,” said British journalist Jonathan Kalmus, who secretly filmed himself walking in both Manchester and Bradford while wearing the kippah.
During the 25 minutes that he walked on a single street in Longsight, Kalmus said he was spat at by one man and called “a Jew” repeatedly by those passing by, even by a young boy walking with his father. A youngster on a bike later rode up to him and shouted in his face, “You’re a Jew,” according to the Daily Mail.
The situation in the streets of Bradford was “more shameful,” he said.
“It took 13 minutes, during which I was stalked by a man who repeatedly took pictures of me. He followed me on foot for five minutes and 30 seconds according to my footage,” he said. “There was a shout of ‘you Jew’ at me as I crossed the road to Bradford City Park. Minutes later a man turned his head and yelled ‘fight the Jewish scum’ just behind my back.”
While in Bradford, three youths repeatedly yelled at Kalmus from across the street, “You’re a Jew, not a Muslim…Jew, Jew, Jew run!”
Kalmus was shocked by the anti-Jewish harassment he received while wearing a kippah. He said he expected to walk for hours without being bothered but instead “I was left speechless that antisemitism is so obvious.”
“No one could accuse me of targeting Muslim neighborhoods to provoke a reaction. This was the center of an ordinary English city and I was minding my own business,” he added. “No one could accuse me of wearing something provocative or political. A Jewish person or any peaceful person walking in a British street anywhere, let alone a city center, should be welcome.”
As he faced the antisemitic hate while merely walking in the street, Kalmus said many people were content to ignore it. They heard the discriminatory remarks being hurled at Kalmus and were caught on camera turning their backs to the abuse taking place in front of them. Kalmus noted, “When someone spat on my back no one stopped to intervene.”
One uplifting instance that stood out to Kalmus was his encounter with a Muslim man at Bradford City Park’s branch of Starbucks. Kalmus said as soon as he walked into the shop, the man, who was “sporting traditional Islamic dress and a heavy black beard, raised his eyes from his drink, looked at me with wide eyes, stood up, raised his hand and said ‘Shalom, Shalom.’”
The journalist behind the investigation, Jonathan Kalmus, says,
Why did I pick Bradford? For a simple reason. Last summer during the height of another Gaza conflict between Israel and Palestinians, 5,000 people, predominantly young Muslim men, gathered for a mass rally in Bradford City Park. The city’s MP, George Galloway, spoke while flanked by two butch men wearing T-shirts emblazoned ‘Palestine’s army you are not alone’.
Mr Galloway has repeated on many, many occasions that his message and political struggle is with Israel and Israelis, not Jews. Despite that, statistics show that bringing the Middle East’s struggles onto the streets of Britain has a direct effect on how people treat Jews.
No one could accuse me of targeting Muslim neighbourhoods to provoke a reaction. This was the centre of an ordinary English city and I was minding my own business.
No one could accuse me of wearing something provocative or political. A Jewish person or any peaceful person walking in a British street anywhere, let alone a city centre, should be welcome.
“We have declared Bradford an Israel free zone,” he told party activists at the meeting in Leeds.
“We don’t want any Israeli goods. We don’t want any Israeli services. We don’t want any Israeli academics, coming to the university or the college. We don’t even want any Israeli tourists to come to Bradford if any of them had thought of doing so.
“We reject this illegal, barbarous, savage state that calls itself Israel. And you have to do the same.”
Full Mail story here.