Caller threatens to kill Melbourne Jewish gym owner

Caller threatens to kill Melbourne Jewish gym owner

Message for former IDF soldier Avi Yemini brands him a ‘f**kin’ Jew’ and tells him to ‘get out of the country‘

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter.

Avi Yemini (Courtesy)
Avi Yemini (Courtesy)

An anonymous caller threatened Tuesday to shoot an Australian-born Jewish gym owner in the head and told him to leave the country.

The call came into the off-site reception of IDF Training, a gym in Melbourne run by Avi Yemini, who served in the Israeli army. He now teaches the IDF martial art, Krav Maga, and has made a name for himself as a staunchly pro-Israel advocate and a critic of Muslims and immigrants.

“Is he the ex-IDF bloke?’ the caller asked, according to the Daily Mail Australia.

“Yeah, 100 percent,” the receptionist answered.

“So he knows how to shoot Palestinians?” the caller went on.

“I’m not too sure, to be honest with you,” came the reply.

The caller then launched into an expletive-filled rant, calling Yemini a “f**kin’ c**ksuckin’ zionist” and saying, “I wanna learn how to shoot, because I wanna shoot him in the f**kin’ head.”

“You tell Avi to get the f**k out of the country, the… f**kin’ Jew,” he continued, before hanging up.

Yemini said afterward that he had traced the call to Deer Park, a largely Muslim suburb of Melbourne. He did not say how he had traced the call.

He reported the incident to police.

“We’ve had threats and anti-Semitic things said to us in the past, but this is the worst ever, ” he told Daily Mail Australia.

“I am outspoken and criticize aspects of Islam… which is often met with threats, but it won’t stop me,” he added.

In a Times of Israel blog post in June, Yemini wrote about the anti-Semitic slurs he had suffered while growing up in an ultra-Orthodox Chabad family.

“It was almost normal to hear racial abuse thrown at me when I walked down the street, usually by a passing car, often referencing Hitler, or in some cases even copping an egg being thrown at me. It was accepted. It was part of being Jewish,” he wrote.

No longer Orthodox, he now wears a kippa in synagogue or when talking to the media.

“I’m making a statement,” he wrote. “I am a proud Jew.

“My pride in my heritage and my people does not stop there. I have made it my business to promote it.

“My wife and I launched our business, IDF Training, in 2009. Our goal went beyond supporting our growing family. Our mission was to show Australian Jews that being a proud Jew, being a proud Zionist, can work for you. It can and should be part of your business plan. It was and is in ours.”

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