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.

Comments

8 Responses to “Four-year-old attacked in Auckland”
  1. David Adler says:

    What if there were signs in society reminiscent of pre WWII Europe? What if instead of Nazis the rising threat came from Islam?

    What if Jewish communal leadership failed to call out the problem clearly and directly and demand firm action?

    You can’t deal with a problem without clearly identifying it.

    What if the lessons of the Holocaust and the promises of “never again” were not learnt in reality?

  2. harry rich says:

    Western Societies may have gone through the Reformation, the Age of Enlightenment and the development of human rights but that did not stop
    the 6 million Jews being murdered where the Reformation originated, and the
    Age of Enlightenment did not have much effect on the violent spread of Antisemitism today

  3. Kevin Herbert says:

    The Trans Tasman Jewish community just can’t grasp the new reality that these incidents are anti-Zionism, not racism against all Jews.

    • Wendy Lovegrove says:

      Explain those weasel words to the 4 year old!
      Wake-up and see it for what it really is!!

    • Andrew Blitz says:

      Kevin, even if we entertained the notion you present, it does not explain how this reported assault was not anti-Jewish and perhaps just anti-Zionist. Maybe the attackers stopped to ask the visibly Jewish boy in the street whether he was from Israel or supported Israel prior to physically assaulting him? Further, if your comment was to stand up to reason, what are you implying? That it is OK for anti-Zionist attacks to occur, not just anti-Semitic attacks?

      Sadly, the manifestation of modern anti-Semitism is most commonly seen in the expression of anti-Zionism, and attempting to distinguish between the two is an anathema to 4000 years of Jewish tradition and history.

      For the record, I spent more than 20 years living in Mt Eden and never had any problems wearing a Kipah. When I returned last year to the district I was verbally assaulted several times within the space of a week. How sad that Auckland seems to have become such an intolerant place to be.

    • Larisa Si says:

      So what you’re telling us, Kevin, is that assaulting a 4-year old for wearing clothing that identifies him as Jewish, is actually anti-Zionism? It’s a criticism of Israel’s government or something along that lines? It’s somehow acceptable in your eyes?

      You must be kidding me. You say that this isn’t racism against all Jews – so the four year old boy did something to deserve this? He was targeted because of being a “Zionist”? The attack was not because he was a Jew, it was because of the political views of this preschooler?

      Impressive doublethink you’ve got there.

  4. Barbara Wood says:

    Muslims applaud their people for attacking Jews, even babies!
    They call muslims doing these vicious acts HEROES

    I call them hate filled cowards!

    There is no place in our society for these crazies!

  5. Efrem Manassey says:

    Yet again I am appalled and saddened by the attack on a four year old boy and his mum in Auckland. Within living memory of the Shoah the old demon of Jew-hatred arises again.
    I feel that the Middle East societies have not historically gone through reformation, an Age of Enlightenment and the development of human rights as Western societies have. In these Arabic communities and their derivatives, there is no intrinsic belief in being humanist and non racist. Modern humanism is not seen as fundamentally ethical. Hence violent Jew hatred is not seen as inherently wrong. I openly question the ability of some immigrants to integrate into our societies: If one brings hatred and the enablement of racial violence, what good does one bring to a country?
    Our countries must take a stand against racism, antisemitism in many cases, immediately and resolutely.
    Australia and New Zealand cannot sacrifice our deep values of egalitarianism and humanism. We just cannot see these eroded. The signs are there. What happens to Jews ends up happening to everyone else…
    To the little boy and his mother I would say: as a Jewish guy and human being, I feel for you. I am with you. Please don’t despair, there is still much love in this world.
    Love and togetherness,
    Efrem Manassey.

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