A JEWISH Uber driver says he was left shaken and concerned for his safety after a passenger this week directed a tirade of antisemitic abuse towards him and recorded the incident on camera.
The driver, aged in his 60s, had picked up a passenger on Tuesday travelling from Airport West to Moonee Ponds.
The driver, who is seen wearing a kippah in his Uber app photo, reported the incident to Uber headquarters immediately after the passenger left, and relayed the ordeal to the Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC).
“About 45 seconds into the trip, the man asked me if my name was Naftoli and if I was Jewish,” he said.
“When I answered that I was, he then said that he didn’t want a Jew driving him and asked to get out.
“I pulled over to the curb, and as he was getting out, he started calling me names such as Jewish scumbag. I was quite shaken by this and was concerned that he would assault me.”
The AJN understands the driver intends to file a report with Victoria Police. The passenger’s access to the Uber app has been permanently removed, with a spokesperson for Uber stating “there was no place for racism” on its platform.
In video footage posted online, the passenger can be heard saying, “I don’t like Jews. I’m not going to ride with a Jew.
“See you later, you scumbag. F***ing Jewish dog. Get out of here.”
He added, “I’d rather walk – f***ing dog.”
ADC chairman Dvir Abramovich said, “Harassment, verbal assaults and stomach-churning intimidation against Jews are becoming a feature of our daily life, and I am deeply concerned that such violent words may result in serious injury or death.
“This terrifying incident provides further evidence that racists are less inhibited about expressing their poisonous bigotry, and is a grim reminder that antisemitism remains a persistent problem.”
Stating, “Australians of all faiths should feel secure, without the fear of being targeted for vilification and abuse because of their appearance or religion,” Abramovich added, “We must redouble our efforts to address the growing threat of antisemitism in Australia. This is a time to come together around our shared values of decency and respect and condemn such outrage.”
Social media users commended the driver for the way he handled the situation, stating, “Doesn’t matter what skin colour, religion or country you’re from. At the end of the day we all bleed the same.”