Australian Beaten for Wearing IDF T-Shirt

A Melbourne, Australia man wearing an IDF t-shirt said two Arabic-speaking men assaulted him on the street.

Zachary Gomo told JTA he was walking to a shop around 10 P.M. in a Jewish neighborhood on Thursday night wearing a T-shirt from his service in the Israel Defense Forces when he claims he was set upon by two young men.

“I noticed them when it was too late, they jumped on me, started punching, screaming Kalb Yehud (Jewish dog), Alla hu Akbar (Allah is the greatest) and something about Gaza in Arabic,” Gomo said.

“One of them tried to pull me to the ground, I started fighting and punching back,” he recalled. “I grabbed one of them by the throat and screamed at them, cursing in Arabic as well. This shocked them, they ran off.”

Gomo said he was “covered in cuts,” and had a swollen face. The Community Security Group accompanied him to a police station to make a statement, he said.

“It appears from the words used by the attackers that he was targeted only because he was clearly identifiable as a Jew,” Nina Bassat, president of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, said in a statement.

“This was an act of cowardice and aggression that has no place in our society,” she added. “From past experience it is clear that it is no coincidence that this attack occurred as hostilities between Israel and Gaza are escalating.”

Community members, she added, “should be free to walk on the streets of Melbourne and to live a peaceful life in what has until now been a model of multicultural harmonious co-existence.”

Written by


Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Australian Beaten for Wearing IDF T-Shirt

Thank you!

This article has been sent!