A Jewish man and his non-Jewish female companion were subjected to horrific antisemitic abuse by fans of West Ham United Football Club on the London Underground at approximately 22:30 on Friday, as other passengers watched inertly or sniggered.
Jonathan Adelman wrote a blog about his experience, which on Friday evening on a full Jubilee Line train between Stratford and West Ham. West Ham had just beaten rival team Tottenham Hotspur, but instead of singing celebratory songs, the West Ham fans singled out Adelman and his companion for abuse, allegedly shouting “F*** off Jew boy” and making hissing noises to mimic the sound of escaping gas, in a reference to the gas chambers used by the Nazis to slaughter millions of Jews.
As the two men, described as being in their early twenties, continued their abuse for the two-minute journey, Adelman wrote: “the remainder of the carriage remained silent, save for a number of cowards who sniggered and chuckled.”
Referring to the tendency of some to dismiss such abuse as ‘football banter’, including amongst Jews, Adelman wrote: “Until all in the community are prepared to stand up to antisemitism what hope do we have of getting the football and police authorities to take the issue seriously?”
British Transport Police is investigating. A spokeswoman told Campaign Against Antisemitism: “A man aged in his forties was travelling from Stratford to London Bridge when two football fans in the carriage started chanting antisemitic songs and verbally abusing him. They then left the train at West Ham. We are investigating and officers are making enquiries. We take any form of hate crime extremely seriously and we always encourage victims or witnesses to this type of crime to report it to us so that we can investigate. Hate crime has a significant impact on victims and causes damage to communities. We are committed to preventing hate crime where possible, encouraging victims to report it when it does happen and bringing offenders to justice.”
Anybody with any information should contact British Transport Police by calling 0800 40 50 40 or sending an SMS to 61016. If any assistance is required, our Crime Unit can be contacted via [email protected].
We are following the case with interest.
Earlier this month, West Ham fan Mark Harding was convicted after telling a rival team’s supporter to “stick your head in the oven like the Jew you are”, and last year West Ham fans, Richard Prendiville and a man identified only as R. Peacock were both convicted after singing antisemitic songs on a train following a witness appeal which Campaign Against Antisemitism and others circulated widely.