Jewish man abused twice in an hour on London transport network

A Jewish man who was abused twice in one hour in central London was threatened because of his appearance, his brother said.

Yosef was “verbally assaulted” while on a bus into Oxford Street and then while at an underground station.

His brother said Yosef was targeted because he looked “obviously Jewish” and that the offenders “were not concerned about the repercussions”. The Met Police and British Transport Police are investigating.

Yosef was first abused while sitting on a bus by a man wearing a red, white and navy blue T-shirt and shorts and red trainers. He shouted “free Palestine” as he got off the bus.

Once Yosef left the bus and was walking down an escalator at Oxford Circus Tube station, he was subjected to “antisemitic behaviour” by a white man, who was wearing jeans, a black T-shirt and a grey jumper tied around his shoulders.

According to his brother, Yosef had on a kippah – the skullcap worn by Orthodox Jewish men – that evening. The Met Police said Yosef had faced “a torrent of antisemitic abuse” while on the bus. His brother, who asked not to be named, said Yosef had been left “very shaken”.

Yosef then managed to “de-escalate” the situation by talking to the passenger, but still was faced with “ugly racist remarks and death threats”, the brother added.

The incident ended after the bus driver called the police, he said.

No arrests have been made and inquiries are continuing.

The President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Marie van der Zyl, condemned the incidents: “It is absolutely intolerable that a Jewish passenger travelling on public transport should be subjected to disgusting racist threats and abuse in the UK in 2021 not once but twice on the same day.”

“Those responsible should be must be tracked down and prosecuted,” she added.

Siwan Hayward, director of compliance, policing operations and security at TfL, said: “We are appalled by the shocking incidents. All our customers have the right to travel without fear of abuse or intimidation, and hate crime has absolutely no place on our network.”

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