Arab bus driver indicted for racially motivated threats

Monday, May 9, 2022, 14:23 The Jerusalem Magistrates Court has indicted an Arab bus driver for the crime of making racially motivated threats to a Jewish youth in Beit Shemesh approximately one year ago. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing the youth, wrote a letter to the Beit Shemesh Police Department of Investigations describing the shocking incident as, “ugly, antisemitic, and humiliating”.

The incident unfolded as follows:

The 15-year-old youth, a Hasidic yeshiva student wearing a suit and a hat, had a definitely Hasidic appearance. He boarded the no. 13 bus (a Superbus line) early in the morning, and at some point, the youth and the driver were alone on the bus. Then the driver stopped the bus and called out to the youth to come closer to him.

When the youth was next to the driver, the latter took out his cell phone and started to record the youth while asking him questions. The driver forced the youth to give degrading answers, such as “you [the driver] should beat me if we meet in the Old City of Jerusalem”, and “I don’t like Jews, but I do like Arabs.”

The youth pleaded with the driver to leave him alone and let him off of the bus, but the driver refused to open the door. The driver also forced the youth to repeat after him a sentence in Arabic, which the youth did not understand. After forcing the youth to suffer cruel humiliation, the driver continued his route, and the youth got off at the nearest bus stop. The youth filed a complaint with the police against the driver.

Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher: “A bus driver emotionally abused a youth in an attempt to humiliate him and trample Jewish dignity. It appears that under the existing law, it is difficult to determine which crimes correspond to the insane reality of Jews in their own land being subject to contemptible antisemitic acts. We will work towards having the court realize the severity of the actions of the antisemitic perpetrator. The court must send him to prison for a significant length of time.”

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