We’ve all seen the disturbing videos of what happens when a Jew, or a person dressed as a Jew, wearing a kipa and other religious clothing, walks the streets of European cities. The antisemitism and outright hatred expressed by passers-by with absolutely no provocation are shocking and frightening.
‘You Jew’ was the anti-Semitic scream which came from a passing car. My shaken wife tried to explain it away to my seven-year-old daughter as a very large sneeze. They were simply playing in a local park in Manchester a few weeks ago when the incident ripped through what should have been a peaceful and wholesome time for any mother and child.
‘Fight the Jewish scum’ and ‘Jew, Jew, Jew… Run’, were the more vicious threats hurled at me in the past few days, however, when I decided to secretly film and find out whether ‘Jew-hatred’ really is alive and kicking on British streets.
I took the inspiration from the viral videos of Israeli journalist Zvika Klein, who filmed himself being threatened on the streets of Paris, and Muslim Hamdy Mahisen, who filmed himself getting abuse in Milan.
Zvika walked in Paris for 10 hours, Hamdy in Milan for five. It took me just one minute. One minute of walking one single, busy major street in Manchester before abuse was flung at me.
In 25 minutes on that one single street in Longsight, I was spat at by one man and called ‘a Jew’ multiple times by passers by, even by a young boy walking with his father.
I was just walking in the street testing the effect of being clearly identifiable as a Jew by wearing a small traditional Jewish head covering called a kippah.
In Bradford the situation was more shameful. It took 13 minutes, during which I was stalked by a man who repeatedly took pictures of me. He followed me on foot for five minutes and thirty seconds according to my footage.
There was a shout of ‘you Jew’ at me as I crossed the road to Bradford City Park. Minutes later a man turned his head and yelled ‘fight the Jewish scum’ just behind my back.
Some time later three youths shouted at me across a street repeatedly, ‘You’re a Jew, not a Muslim…Jew, Jew, Jew run!’
I was prepared to walk for hours and expected to get nothing on camera. On Manchester’s curry mile, a haven of mixed cultures and skin colour, it took two-and-half-minutes for a young lad on a bike to ride up to me and shout, ‘You’re a Jew’ in my face. I was left speechless that anti-Semitism is so obvious.
In total, between the two cities I suffered a series of anti-Semitic hate incidents, more than those in Zvika Klein’s video and achieved in one-tenth of the time here in Britain. What a horrible reality.
Why did I pick Bradford? For a simple reason. Last summer during the height of another Gaza conflict between Israel and Palestinians, 5,000 people, predominantly young Muslim men, gathered for a mass rally in Bradford City Park. The city’s MP, George Galloway, spoke while flanked by two butch men wearing T-shirts emblazoned ‘Palestine’s army you are not alone’.
Mr Galloway has repeated on many, many occasions that his message and political struggle is with Israel and Israelis, not Jews. Despite that, statistics show that bringing the Middle East’s struggles onto the streets of Britain has a direct effect on how people treat Jews.
It is worthwhile noting that George Galloway is notorious for making outrageous anti-Israel remarks which are in essence antisemitic. He then claims in pseudo-innocence that he’s not antisemitic, but “only” anti-Israel. Should you dare call him out on his antisemitism he threatens to sue anybody who calls him such, demanding payment of thousands of pounds in “compensation” – or what I would call a protection racket. Thankfully some of his victims are hitting back and reporting this suspect behaviour of his lawyers to the Solicitors’ regulatory board.
Back to Jonathan Kalmus’s report:
No one could accuse me of targeting Muslim neighbourhoods to provoke a reaction. This was the centre of an ordinary English city and I was minding my own business.
No one could accuse me of wearing something provocative or political. A Jewish person or any peaceful person walking in a British street anywhere, let alone a city centre, should be welcome.
In that vein, there was one incident while I stopped in Bradford City Park’s branch of Starbucks. As soon as I walked in a Muslim man, sporting traditional Islamic dress and a heavy black beard raised his eyes from his drink, looked at me with wide eyes, stood up, raised his hand and said ‘Shalom, Shalom’, the traditional Hebrew greeting which means peace.
The harsh and grim outdoors overcast by storm clouds and drizzle lifted. Whatever was the reason for this man’s gesture and insistence that I shake his hand, it was warm and hopeful.
Go and read the entire thing and watch the sickening video at the site.
Interestingly, some other journalists walked the streets of Copenhagen, Rome, Berlin and Stockholm while wearing a kipa and encountered mostly friendliness or curiosity, despite the occasional epithet thrown at them.
Meanwhile, in that terrible, awful, no-good, very bad country called Israel, a Christian decided to go for a walk in Jerusalem while wearing a large cross, and encountered…. drum-roll… gasp…
Just keep that in mind next time Israel is accused of being apartheid or racist.
When will the Jews of Europe be able to feel as free to walk about in the open, identifiably dressed as Jews, as an identifiable Christian wearing a cross in Israel? Not to mention either Christians or Jews being able to walk freely and safely in almost any Muslim country.