3 Jewish boys were subjected to anti-Semitic abuse, including shouts of “gas the Jews”, after they accidentally boarded the wrong bus in Melbourne, Australia on Wednesday, The Age reported.
Elimelech, 15, and his two 14-year-old friends had spent the day shopping at Chadstone and at 4pm decided to head home. But instead of boarding the bus back to Caulfield, they ended up on one bound for Oakleigh.
It was there they say they sat frightened and confused when a large group of teenagers directed abusive language at them.
“A girl in the group asked ‘What would you do if I grabbed [the skull cap] off your head?’,” Elimelech recalled.
“The person behind me then said ‘Gas the Jews’.
“I have great grandparents who died in the Holocaust,” Elimelech said.
The boys ended up traumatized by the incident, which Jewish leaders fear is part of a rapidly growing wave of anti-Semitic episodes in Melbourne.
Elimelech, who asked that his surname be withheld due to fears of further vilification, said he tried to defuse the situation to protect his friends, but they were outnumbered.
He said he politely explained to the teens on the bus that the skull cap, called a kippah, represented his Jewish heritage and beliefs, but that only seemed to encourage their anti-Semitic remarks.
Elimelech said he had also experienced abuse while walking in his neighborhood.
“I’ve had situations where people have yelled out derogatory comments from a car going past on Saturday as we walk to Sabbath,” he said.
“People should be aware of the Holocaust and how damaging these comments are to someone who is a descendant of people who got killed and murdered.”
The attack comes just days after a Rabbi was filmed as he was subjected to hateful and “vile” road rage abuse in Melbourne, including being told he “should’ve died in Auschwitz”.
READ MORE: The Age