Video shows man hurling anti-semitic abuse at Jewish family

Police are investigating after a man was filmed harassing a Jewish family on the London Underground, according to the Evening Standard.

The now-viral video shows a man reading anti-semitic bible passages to a man and presumably his son, who are both wearing skullcaps. Bystanders stepped in to defend the family.

After receiving permission from the family, Chris Atkins, a 43-year-old journalist, took and shared the video on Twitter, where it has amassed over 2 million views.

“Around noon I witnessed appalling anti Semitic abuse towards this Jewish Family on the northern line. Fair play to other passengers who stood up to him. If you recognise the guy please report to ⁦@metpoliceuk,” Atkins tweeted on Friday.

The almost two-minute long video starts with the man reading Revelation 3:9 from the Book of Revelation

“I’ve lived in London for 20 years and you’re used to people ranting on the Tube. It was only after a minute I realized, ‘hang on this is really, really anti-Semitic’,” Atkins said, per the Evening Standard.

The man tells the family they are part of “the synagogue of Satan” when reading the passages.

The father, who has one arm over his son, remains calm and even laughs–or pretends to–the incident off, a move he was later lauded for. 

When a man intervenes, the anti-semitic man says, “Back off man. I’m not no Christian pastor. Back the fuck off from me bro.”

A Muslim woman in a hijab then confronts him. 

“These people claim my heritage,” the man yells at her, pointing to the father and son. “Do you care about your people?” He also brings up 9/11 and continues arguing with her until the end of the video. 

“The Muslim woman … really, really took him to task, very firmly and persistently,” Atkins said, per the Evening Standard.

Atkins said that he later swapped seats with the child in order to get the child away from the man.

“Then another guy came up and started talking to him who was very good, who basically said ‘what is it in the Bible?’ and ‘tell me where it shows that’ just to divert attention away from the family,” he said, per the Evening Standard.

People are expressing outrage over the incident and lauding the father and interveners.

“He saw an easy target in a Jewish father sitting with his kids on a metro train with an audience who can’t walk away,” Twitter user @Jew_Pakistani wrote. 

Another called the father’s “calm, graceful dad skills” and the “two who stepped in to distract” the silver linings of the incident.

“A Muslim lady going to the defence of a Jewish father and son gives me renewed hope for the future of this wonderful country of ours. Let’s try and find out who she is so we can thank her for her wonderful courage and support,” Twitter user @warner_hb wrote.

The U.K. has seen a rise in anti-semitism over the past three years, according to a report, with an average of over 100 anti-semitic incidents a month. 

“We are aware of a video circulating on Twitter which shows passengers being harassed and being targeted with anti-Semitic abuse on a Northern Line train,” the British Transport Police said in a statement, per the Evening Standard. “Enquiries are being made in relation to this footage.”

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Samira Sadeque

Samira Sadeque

Samira Sadeque is a New York-based journalist reporting on immigration, sexual violence, and mental health, and will sometimes write about memes and dinosaurs too. Her work also appears in Reuters, NPR, and NBC among other publications. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School, and her work has been nominated for SAJA awards. Follow: @Samideque