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Arab Assault on 4-Year-Old Jewish Boy Shocks New Zealand Community

Mt. Eden,   Auckland,   New Zealand

A 4-year-old Jewish boy was attacked walking home from pre-school in the Auckland suburb of Mt Eden, New Zealand, last week. According to the New Zealand Herald, the attack has been called a hate crime by police.

The boy has been left traumatized after he was approached by a man who slapped him hard on the top of his head in front of his mother, brother and a friend, the NZ Herald reported.

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According to Stephen Goodman, president of the New Zealand Jewish Council, the attacker was a man in his 20s, of Middle Eastern appearance. The attacker laughed as he was leaving the scene in a car with four other men.

The child’s mother notified police.

Goodman has no doubt the attack is racially motivated, since the boy and his friend were wearing yarmulkes, and are orthodox Jews.

Goodman believes the anti-Semitic hate attack on a defenseless boy would come as a shock to many New Zealanders.

“A small Jewish community has lived here, well integrated, contributing to the wider society, and in exceptional peace since the earliest days of New Zealand’s settlement, ” Goodman told the Herald. “It’s really very worrying that it seems to have elevated things one level higher. This behavior is so totally unacceptable and intolerable in New Zealand. The mother was very emotionally upset by the incident – we just hope there [are] no lasting effects on the child.”

Auckland police spokeswoman Noreen Hegarty commented that “the police investigation into this incident is ongoing and police are optimistic that the people involved with this incident will be identified.”

Goodman recalled several other ant-Semitic attacks on children by young Middle Eastern men.

Goodman said there’s talk in the Jewish community that children should not wear their traditional clothes in public for fear of being abused.

According to the Herald, some 6000 New Zealanders identified themselves as Jewish in the 2006 Census, but the number of people who are Jewish is more likely to be around 20, 000.

Statistics show that nearly 15, 000 Middle Eastern immigrants (including those of Persian origin) moved to New Zealand since 1997. Many of these migrants have entered under the humanitarian category when seeking residence in New Zealand.



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