Four-year-old attacked in Auckland

November 23, 2014 by J-Wire Staff
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A four-year-old boy wearing a yarmulke and tzitzit was hit on the head while walking home from school with his mother in Mt Eden, Auckland.

The mother, who does not want to be identified, was walking in line with her two sons and her friend’s son on Friday when a man, of middle-eastern appearance and thought to be in his 20s, approached them and hit her child on the head.

In a letter distributed to the Jewish community, the incident was reported to have occurred outside the Chabad House in Mt Eden.

Mt Eden, AUckland

Mt Eden, Auckland

The man then ran to four others in a parked car, who were laughing, and drove away. The child’s mother took the children to her friend’s house to notify the police. Fortunately the child was not seriously injured. However, the attack left the mother and her child distraught and in shock at the incident.

The attack on a four-year-old child appears to be racially motivated as both the boy and his friend were wearing yarmulkes (Jewish skullcaps) at the time of the assault.

The police investigation into this incident is still in progress and they are optimistic that those involved will be identified.

This attack is the third incident involving young people in recent months. The other two incidents are as follows:

  1. In August a young girl was walking with her father through the Britomart train station in Auckland’s city centre when a group of young Middle-Eastern men yelled “You Jewish pig!” in Arabic at them.
  2. In October, a group of men in a car yelled “F****n Jews” at a young boy walking in Remuera.

In all cases, the victims were identifiably Jewish, as the men and boys were wearing skullcaps.

“Anti-Semitism in any form cannot be tolerated,” said Stephen Goodman, President of the New Zealand Jewish Council. “Racially-motivated attacks against children are cowardly and have no place in New Zealand,” he added.

In France, Jewish men are now encouraged not to wear their yarmulkes [skullcaps] in public because of violent anti-Semitism there.

“We should not have to feel like that here,” said Mr. Goodman.

Anti-Semitism is on the increase around the world. In addition to the three incidents above, in New Zealand this year we have witnessed:

  1. Anti-Semitic graffiti on election billboards;
  2. The “Shylock” incident;
  3. Protests against Israel where one man was recorded unashamedly shouting “Bash the Jewish! Cut their heads off. Cut off their f*****n heads off!”; and
  4. An Israeli flag being burned in the street.
Steohen Goodman

Stephen Goodman

Samantha Power, US ambassador to the UN, told a conference organized by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe last week, “Make no mistake – we have a problem [with anti-Semitism]” and “[anti-Semitism] is often the canary in the coal mine for the degradation of human rights more broadly”.

There has also been a rise in anti-Semitic attacks in Australia, where 312 incidents were reported between October 2013 and September 2014, up from 231 incidents the previous year – a 35% increase. “There has been a seismic shift,” said Professor Mark Baker, director of the Jewish center at Melbourne’s Monash University. “It’s as though the images that we once viewed on television have popped out of the computer screen and landed in our bedrooms.”

“The apparent racial assault on the four-year-old in Mt Eden will come as a shock to many New Zealanders. A small Jewish community has lived here, well integrated, contributing to the wider society, and in exceptional peace since the earliest days of New Zealand’s settlement. It would be a great sadness if our community and its children should feel insecure in their own country,” concluded Mr. Goodman.

Assistance from the public

If anyone has information about any of the incidents mentioned, please call your local police station, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.