Israeli-Jewish Woman Attacked on NYC Subway

December 17, 2019
Photo from Max Pixel.

An Israeli Jewish woman was harassed and assaulted on the New York City subway on Dec. 12. In video footage of the incident, which features sound, the suspect can be seen and heard hurling anti-Semitic slurs at her and a Jewish man.

The Jerusalem Post reports that the woman, Lihi Aharon, explained in a video posted on YouTube that she asked an unidentified black woman if she could move her bags off the seat next to her. The woman refused, prompting Aharon to sit down next to an unidentified Jewish man wearing a yarmulke.

The black woman then started to berate the Jewish man and praise the Dec. 10 Jersey City, N.J., shooting, saying that she wanted more Jews to have been killed at the shooting, according to Aharon on the YouTube video. At that point, Aharon said she took out her phone to start to record the incident. The black woman knocked the phone out of Aharon’s hand. Aharon asked her friend to start recording, and the black woman knocked down her friend’s phone as well, Aharon said on the YouTube video.

“All of a sudden she grabbed my face,” Aharon said. “It happened very, very fast, so I decided it’s not happening and I had to fight back.”

Other passengers on the subway told Aharon she was bleeding, prompting her to press the emergency button to stop the train. The black woman later was arrested; video footage shows her on the stairs at a subway station surrounded police. She can be heard shouting, “You f—ing nasty a — Jew” as well as “Allahu Akbar!”

Aharon told i24 News English that she felt terrible for the Jewish man on the subway and she felt embarrassed about what had occurred, as other passengers just watched the incident unfold, viewing the black woman’s actions as “another typical crazy person on the train. But for me it was more than that. It was … pure hate.”

Despite the assault and the Jersey City shooting, Aharon told i24 News she wasn’t going to hide her Israeli Jewish identity.

“I don’t think I should be scared or afraid of anything,” Aharon said.

She encouraged people in the United States stand up to anti-Semitism when they see it.

“People, please do not be quiet,” Aharon said. “Please speak up. Please do something.”

Anti-Defamation League New York and New Jersey tweeted, “Aware of reports that Jewish passengers were harassed and assaulted on the #NewYorkCity subway. We are in contact with law enforcement to find out more.”

A spokesperson from the New York City Police Department confirmed to the Journal in an email that the black woman was arrested for assault and Aharon suffered a laceration on her face from the attack.

According to The City, a nonprofit New York City-based publication, there has been a 162% increase in anti-Semitic incidents on the subway from 2018-19; 60% of which were graffiti and assaults.

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