“On Saturday night, on my bus ride home, my husband and I found ourselves at the center of a distressing anti-Semitic attack”, posted the Slaughters associate.
Although she and her husband, who is an associate at MoFo, posted about the incident on their LinkedIn accounts, the public interest took them by surprise and RollOnFriday has agreed to their firms’ requests not to name them.
The pair had just been to see the musical Wicked and had been discussing whether McDonalds chips were as good as they used to be.
But they were travelling on the day of the huge pro-Palestine march on Armistice Day, and a woman sitting on the bus two rows ahead overheard their discussion and “started loudly proclaiming that ‘only Jews eat McDonalds’,” said the Slaughters lawyer.
“I was paralysed in shock but my wife had the nerve to start filming”, said her husband.
Her footage depicts a woman asking another passenger, “Are you a Jew?” before smacking the Slaughter and May solicitor’s phone and lunging towards her.
When her husband blocks the woman's path, she asks him, “Why are you touching me fam? I’ll smash your glasses into your eyes bro”.
After strolling up and down the aisle the woman tells the Slaughters associate to stop recording her, to which the lawyer replies, “I think you should get off the bus”.
“Get me off the bus, bro”, the women responds before sitting down and mockingly waving at the camera.
“It is not safe to be a Jew in London right now. We are experiencing everything that we were warned about as children”, wrote the Slaughters lawyer.
“This weekend in London, Jewish homes have been graffitied, people had to be escorted by police whilst leaving Synagogue and posters have been waved that would have been proudly held up in 1930s Germany.”
“Each bus or train journey becomes increasingly intimidating, making us question if this is a place we can continue to call home. As the granddaughter of two Holocaust survivors, I am appalled (but sadly, not completely surprised) that this is something I have to face in my lifetime”.
In a plea to her non-Jewish friends and Slaughter and May colleagues, she said, “Please do not look away. Please do not stay silent. Please reach out to your Jewish friends, talk to them, listen to them. And if and when you witness incidents like this - please, please, speak up. Because despite there being lots of other people on the bus, only one other person confronted her. And I was scared.”
Her husband said, “What struck me the most were the actions of the one bystander…who stood up against this woman in the face of her verbally attacking him. His courage is a testament to the power of solidarity against hate.”
The MoFo solicitor ended his post, “In response to her question: “Are you a Jew?” Yes. #IAmAJew. I cherish my heritage, community, and identity”.
His wife said she had deleted her social media accounts as it was upsetting to see so many posts “that try to reduce a complex, devastating conflict down to good vs evil, and try and make people ‘pick sides’.”
“This reductive thinking has real life consequences - it demonises an entire people. Because the woman on the bus didn’t ask me if I support Palestinian civilians - I do - or if I take issue with Netanyahu’s government - I do - or if I condemn the settlements on the West Bank - I do - or if I desperately want this tragic war to end - I do.”
"The woman on the bus didn’t ask any of that. All she asked was: Are you a Jew?’”
Slaughter and May Managing Partner Deborah Finkler told ROF, “We are appalled and saddened that one of our colleagues was the victim of an antisemitic attack this weekend. This incident is deeply troubling, and something that no-one should have to go through, on account of religion, race or any other characteristic."
"We condemn antisemitism and any other form of hatred and we are focused on supporting our colleague and others affected at this time.”
A spokesperson for MoFo said, “We are extremely saddened and distressed that one of our London colleagues and his wife were the victims of an antisemitic attack over the weekend. Our thoughts are with him, his wife, and family at this difficult time".
"We are deeply concerned by the disturbing rise in antisemitism globally and in many of our own communities, and recognize the pain and concern of the Jewish community and our Jewish colleagues here at MoFo”.
“As our colleague poignantly expressed, ‘no one should ever feel unsafe due to their ethnicity, religion, or identity.’ We condemn antisemitism, Islamophobia, bigotry, xenophobia, and hatred in all its forms and stand in solidarity with everyone affected by hate or xenophobia around the world.”
The Metropolitan Police are investigating the incident.