Rabbi Feldman encounters the face of antisemitism

November 27, 2017 by Henry Benjamin
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In a quiet cul-de-sac in Australia’s capital Canberra Rabbi Shmueli Feldman dreads another attack on his home by a group of young white Australians.

Rabbi Shmueli Feldman

On Sukkot as his wife and five children sat in the Sukkah in the late afternoon, a car approached their unprotected house with passengers screaming out antisemitic slogans. They were traumatised on what they heard outside. Rabbi Feldman’s neighbour alerted the police but the car had sped off well when the neighbour approached well ahead of the police’s arrival. Nevertheless, the CCTV which had been installed by the Chabad rabbi captured the number plate of the car occupied by the offenders.

Rabbi Shmuel Feldman told J-Wire: “The police interviewed the driver who said it was his passengers who had been screaming the hate but he refused to comply with the police’s request to identify them.”

The CCTV had been a necessary addition to the house. This was far from the first time the Feldman family had experienced attacks. Rabbi Feldman said that the house had originally had some form of protection from a fence which local council regulations had compelled the Feldmans to remove.

“Rocks and eggs are regularly thrown at our  home and the Chabad centre. It’s not safe for our children to play in our garden. We see incidents at our home or the centre around every three weeks.”

Talking of anti-Jewish sentiments being expressed from all quarters in Canberra, he said he was strolling through a shopping mall with his five-year-old daughter when two men yelled at her in Arabic, which Feldman understands, ‘you filthy Jewish slut’.

He added: “I recently addressed a prestigious school in Canberra where high school students were disseminating neo-Nazi leaflets. The school identified the students who were spreading hatred and they were suspended.”

Rabbi Feldman said: “Laws must be tougher. The police should have been able to get  the information from the driver. They told me they had everything the could.”

Feldman experiences antisemitic attacks frequently. “The community must be aware of how antisemitism is on the rise. History repeats itself.”

Canberra does not have a Community Security Group. The Feldmans are expecting permission shortly to replace their fence.

Rabbi Feldman denies the message media headlines saying “I Don’t Feel Safe in Australia”. He told J-Wire: “I think we’re lucky to live in Australia. Our political leaders and law enforcement officers condemn hatred and antisemitism. However, with people still at large who have targeted my home and my family including five little children I feel currently a lot less safe in our own home for the first time ever.”

Rabbi Shmueli Feldman is hoping to see tougher laws to combat racism giving the police the power to stem the tide of rising antisemitism.

The Feldmans’ experience has highlighted the report on antisemitism in Australia released by The Executive Council of Australian Jewry yesterday. The report revealed a 9% increase in antiSemitic incidents in Australia in the year ending September 30.


One Response to “Rabbi Feldman encounters the face of antisemitism”
  1. Benjy Steingold says:

    B”H. Very sad. Time for all Yidden to come back home to Eretz Hakodesh/The Holyland now,b’ezrat Hashem. Eretz Chemda Tova v Rachva. Gd bless you all from benjy Ben

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