An article in the Guardian by community affairs correspondent Nazia Parveen (‘Torrent of abuse’: Jewish man targeted twice in an hour in London, July 5), about a Jewish Londoner victimised twice in one hour by antisemitic abuse, omitted crucial information about one of the incidents.
The story, widely covered in the Jewish and non-Jewish media, involves verbal antisemitic abuse, including the threat of violence, by a man on a bus, and antisemitic abuse by another man on an escalator in a tube station.
Here are the relevant sentences in the Guardian article about the bus incident:
Footage showed the researcher from north London travelling on a bus to Oxford Street just before midnight on 3 July when another passenger got up and began to verbally assault him.
The Metropolitan police, which said the victim was subjected to “a torrent of antisemitic abuse” while travelling on the bus, and British Transport Police have launched separate investigations into the incidents.
Yosef had been left traumatised, said his brother. “The bus incident happened when the suspect noticed my brother. There was no prior communication before they lashed out [at him]. It wasn’t just a mere verbal assault. He was very close to being physically attacked by this vicious assailant.”
The brother said the passenger leaned in close to Yosef’s face and tried to punch him but Yosef stopped him. “He [the other passenger] was shouting angrily ‘I’ll give you an uppercut, I’ll give you an uppercut’,” he said.
Yosef managed to “de-escalate” the situation by talking to the passenger but was still faced with “ugly racist remarks and death threats”, the brother added. The incident ended after the bus driver called the police, he said.
Footage from the first incident showed the passenger calling Yosef a “fucking Jewish dude” and then getting off the bus and banging on the doors.
However, the Guardian journalist failed to report that the perpetrator shouted “Free Palestine” whilst hurling antisemitic abuse.
As you can hear from this audio of the encounter, he also threatened to slit the Jewish passenger’s throat “for Palestine”.
These facts regarding the Palestine-related element of the incident were reported by multiple British media outlets, including BBC, The Times, The Metro UK, Daily Mail, My London, The Mirror and The Sun.
What makes the Guardian omission even more egregious is that the reporter did add some context by citing the following information from the CST:
Last month a charity that monitors antisemitism and provides security for British Jewish groups reported a “horrific surge” in racist attacks, which campaigners said surpassed anything they had seen before.
The Community Security Trust (CST) recorded 351 antisemitic incidents between 8 and 31 May, more than for any single month since records beganin 1986.
The CST said the rise was fuelled by antisemitic reactions to the escalation of violence in Israel and Gaza. It called the situation “utterly predictable and completely disgraceful”.
In fact, the short CST post the reporter quoted from, which she presumably read in full, also reported that, during Operation Guardian of the Walls, there were “several incidents”, similar to the one on the bus, of “individuals shouting ‘Free Palestine’ with abusive or threatening language or gestures at random Jewish people…selected for abuse because they are Jewish”.
So, the reporter had the information to properly contextualise the antisemitic incident in question by noting that it fits a pattern of racist behavior – as well as attitudes – towards Jews by pro-Palestinian activists in the UK, but, by omitting this crucial information about the perpetrator’s Palestine-related antisemitic abuse, she failed to do so.