Car tries to run down 6 Jews in Johannesburg

Driver shouts anti-Semitic epithet at worshippers walking home from Jewish center

A vehicle threatened to run down six identifiably Jewish men in suburban Johannesburg minutes after its driver shouted an anti-Semitic epithet at them.

The men were walking home from the Ohr Somayach Jewish center in Glenhazel when the vehicle, which had four occupants, drove past them. The driver made offensive hand gestures and shouted “f—ing Jews.”

A few minutes later, the vehicle returned and veered toward the men.

The incident was reported initially on Feb. 10 on the website of the Coordination Forum for Countering Anti-Semitism, or CFCA, though it occurred last month. It was later confirmed to JTA by David Saks, associate director of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, the community’s umbrella body.

“Anti-Semitic verbal abuse in South Africa commonly takes the form of people shouting obscenities from passing vehicles at community members walking to or from shul,” Saks told JTA, noting that there were on average 10 such incidents per year. “It is unusual, however, for the perpetrators to combine verbal abuse with acts of intimidation against the people they are targeting, in this case by making as if to drive into them.”

Saks said there were no details on the car registration.

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