Challenging passenger.

Slaughter and May and Morrison & Foerster have rallied round two associates who were subjected to antisemitic abuse in London this week.

“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.


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Anonymous 17 November 23 08:41

Distressing as this undoubtedly was, surely the real question is what any lawyer at Slaughters or MoFo was doing on a bus. Or in McDonalds.

Anonymous 17 November 23 09:18

She was spoiling for a row and chose the meek lawyers.

One day she will pick on the wrong person and gets stabbed up.

Anonymous 17 November 23 09:25

Giving Jews as a whole collective responsibilty for the slaughter in Gaza by the IDF is absurd and stupid.
Giving Gazans collective punishment for the actions of Hamas is likewise absurd and stupid, but also results in thousands of deaths, horrific injuries and they are facing starvation.
However, saying nasty things to someone on a bus and dropping bombs on tens of thousands of people and starving 2m people are - and it's amazing that we have to say this - not the same thing.

Anon 17 November 23 09:34

Erm, all she said was are you a Jew?, what's the difference if she had said are you a Christian or a Muslim?

Fred Shred 17 November 23 09:53

In the interests of balance, there is also a sharp increase in Islamophobic incidents. However, because of how marginalised many in that community are, they tend not to be reported, or, if they are, they tend not to receive a similarly sympathetic / amplifying ear in mainstream media. As Sunak has pointed out, there are not 2 sides in this narrative; one side (the one funded by the West) obviously is heavily favoured. It is inevitable though that a bloody conflict will spill over into social situations like this. Most people, especially nowadays when many people do not even read broadsheets, are not well-informed or students of history, and they tend to have a knee-jerk reaction to events which is largely dictated by simplistic emotions, such as sincere outrage - the "politics of the last atrocity", something I was very familiar with growing up. I'm N. Irish, and, during the Troubles, I was attacked a few times in London, after violent incidents. Unpleasant, as I was a harmless lawyer without so much as a parking ticket in my life, but nonetheless I could see how, if a bomb went off, anyone with my accent / name would be liable to being singled out. I never saw it as being evidence of racism, or wasted time feeling sorry for myself, and consider that any attempt to paint such reaction-incidents as evidence of deep-seated racism is somewhat self-aggrandising. I just saw understandable human reactions by rightly outraged ordinary decent Brits, few of whom had any serious knowledge of Irish-British history. And, of course, once the Troubles were sorted out in N Ireland, I never once encountered any similar incidents. Sort out the Middle East in a balanced way, and you’ll have no more of these incidents.

Eye roll 17 November 23 09:56

‘iT gOeS wItHoUt sAYinG tHaT dIvERsiTy iS gReAt fOr sOcieTy’

The silent majority stand with Israel.

Nonny 17 November 23 09:59

Confused. I eat in McDonald’s and I’m lapsed catholic. Is that now allowed?
The young lady seems to have mental health issues.
Anon at 9.34. Give your head a wobble. Answering ‘yes’ to being a Christian or Muslim unlikely to result in vilification and / or violence. Answering yes to being a Jew would do so. Clear from tone.

Anonymous 17 November 23 10:22

@Fred Shred's - "In the interests of balance, there is also a sharp increase in Islamophobic incidents."

Ooh, but yes, what about the 'far-right' eh? Pause the concern for the Jews for a moment, let's just think about the poor poor British Muslims again for a bit.

They aren't the victims here, but if you just stop and imagine for a bit, they could have been.

I think that whatever we do, we should be very careful not to have a day in which we just condemn anti-semitism with no ifs and buts (like we did for a whole summer when it was racism against black people and BLM was cool) let's instead make sure that we find someone else to split our attention with. Because surely someone else must suffer more than those Jews do.

I mean, just because Jewish people are being harassed in the streets, threatened at their schools, and having their homes vandalised with racist graffiti doesn't mean that innocent Muslims aren't the REAL victims in all of this. Right? Their suffering is the worst suffering surely. And definitely worse than any suffering that Jews could suffer. So let's just set the Jews aside for a moment and have some Thoughts And Prayers for the Muslims, again.

Sure, we don't have any videos of the 'far right' neo-nazis doing any of this kind of stuff to Muslims (they're too marginalised for smartphones, or something), and yes the tiny number of racist bigots that showed their faces on remembrance day were swiftly and effectively policed then universally condemned by all, and let's ignore for a moment the disproportionate number of British Muslims who feel the need to blow themselves up on public transport killing more people in a day than the British 'far right' have managed in their history. It's definitely the neo-nazis under the bed are the real danger here.

They're very real and we must keep fretting and talking about them even on the 364 days in the year that you don't hear a peep from them. And even when they have no connection with the incident in question. It's very important, and not in any way an attempt to minimise / distract from endemic anti-semitism.

So come on everyone, let's not dwell too much on the flagrant anti-semitism which we can see caught on video, and which has become so normalised, and so frequently pardoned, that people feel no shame in engaging in it in plain sight on public transport (when they are alone, with no group to encourage them, because it's so normalised that they feel sure their fellow passengers will support them in it).

What we really need to do here is to take a moment to think about a group of victims, and a group of perpetrators, who have nothing whatsoever to do with this incident.

Anonymous 17 November 23 10:27

@Nonny - "The young lady seems to have mental health issues."

I'm sure that's right.

Just like all anti-semites and Islamic fundamentalists (not related!), the root cause of this will be mental health issues. She's just ill.

An isolated actor, no doubt, symptomatic of nothing and impossible to treat as anything other than a random one-off incident. Part and parcel of modern life in a major city, I'm sure our betters would agree. Indeed, if it wasn't for Austerity then she would have been cured already by Our NHS. So Thatcher is the real villain of this piece.

Now, those dreadful far-right types on the other hand, they're being radicalised by increasingly sophisticated online networks and need serious policing before they start actually doing something.

Anonymous 17 November 23 10:32

Slaughters lawyers haven't only experienced anti-Semitism outside their office. Ditto Linklaters, where I remember one particularly charming woman claiming loudly that her Christmas was sure to be ruined because she was working for a Jew.

Anon 17 November 23 10:32

Nonny, gave my head a wobble, nope still the same. She just said are you a Jew?
Your post seems to suggest there isn't islamaphobia around.
You're clearly on the other hand banged your head! Perhaps try and sort that?

Saddened 17 November 23 10:37

I think large part of this is driven not by any love for the unfortunate Palestinians but hatred for Jews . Really horrible things are happening to millions of Muslims elsewhere in the world but no one cares. :(

Joe 17 November 23 10:56

The fact that this is a national news story shows how rare it is.

POC get racially abused every day and few bat an eyelid. And yet here, someone is asked whether they belong to a particular religion and it makes the news.

Wake up 17 November 23 11:55

The offender was drunk or high. We do not know whether there was anything else before the recording started. This is happening in public transport all over the world to people of all religions, color and citizenship. She gave fuel to fire with her filming.

Frieswiththat 17 November 23 12:18

But what was the conclusion? Are McDonald's chips as good as they used to be?

Anonymous 17 November 23 12:21

"POC get racially abused every day and few bat an eyelid."

Yes, I can't remember anyone ever getting worked up about racism against POCs.

I'm sure that if people had spent a summer smashing up public monuments and genuflecting in the streets about it I would have noticed.

Perhaps we could introduce some kind of awareness month about POC racism? To teach the history of it for a full 30 days, for example? What an innovation that would be. I'm surprised that nobody has thought to do it already.

But instead you just never hear a peep about POCs, do you? Just wall to wall Jews, Jews, Jews sucking up all the attention. You mention racism against black folk and immediately someone pops up to start changing the subject with a "Yes, but what about racism against Jews, eh? What about that, it's just as bad!".

It's almost as if they don't actually care about what happens to POCs and are desperate to change the topic and talk about anything else instead.

Joe 17 November 23 12:46


I'm talking about the mainstream media and liberal elite

They don't really care about actual Islamaphobia, anti-Black racism.

But someone writes Free Palestine within 5km of a synagogue and immediately we have wall-to-wall editorials and opinion pieces about how antisemitism is an urgent threat

Anonymous 17 November 23 14:14

Anon 9.25 - the only person drawing a comparison or equivalence with the events in Gaza is you. You might want to think about why you’re doing that?

Are you writing “not as bad a Gaza” on every UK news story including those involving Islamophobia?

Putting the "fun" into fundamentalist 17 November 23 18:27

Thank goodness the established religion of the UK is Anglicanism - truly the politest form of atheism. This tribalism belongs in an era where people fought with sticks and stones, not guided missiles.

Anon 17 November 23 23:24

Oh please, I get worse racial abuse as a brown person every week in London and nobody bats an eyelid.

Human 20 November 23 05:47

Speaking from experience as a visible Jew the vast majority of anti-Semitism on TFL is from Black Israelites or Black people with possible mental health / paranoia / addiction issues who believe Black Israelite conspiracy theories; and from white drunk Chelsea fans making gas noises on the way back from the Tottenham derby. This is an example of the former and it's the reason I don't take my kids on public transport in London. I have also noted that Black women seem to think they physically intimidate and can bully Jewish men twice their size. It didn't work out so well last time such a woman tried to mug me on the Tube, although I was I think very chivalrous in the circumstances.

London is safer than Glasgow. Glasgow is by far and away the most anti-Semitic place in the UK thanks to Celtic fans who believe they make the world a better place by harassing Jews wherever they find them.

Anonymous 21 November 23 13:27

What specifically have they been doing? Curious as a very close mate who is a big Celtic fan and who is Jewish has not mentioned anything. The Green Brigade basically follow the Ladybird Book of Perceived Left Wing Causes and seek to draw ridiculous parallels of everything to Irish republicanism, but beyond waving the Palestinian flags what have they been doing? Going beyond being annoying is not their usual modus operandi.

anonymous 21 November 23 22:54

@Human, where have the Celtic fans being harassing Jews rather than indulging their usual be a tw@t schoolboy Marxism routine? I asked a mate who's a Jewish Celtic fan who was unaware of the harassment. He's quite attuned to this because of the school his kids attend. Jewish Chronicle article on 13th November is pretty spot on / in accordance with my understanding of the dynamics of the situation. I was hitherto unaware of the Black Israelite beliefs; it is clearly all b@tshit mental.

Human 23 November 23 07:25

Instant gassing noises starting from the moment I stepped off the train at around 8:30pm, inside Glasgow station. Catcalls outside about Hitler, not from just one inebriated youth, but from middle aged men and women. Multiple people who were not connected to each other step in my face to share their thoughts about the moral rectitude of Hitler, freeing Palestine, lyrical speculation about circumcisions, and the demerits of kosher meat. I got pushed by one who didn't let me walk forward. An eventful 10 minutes until I found a taxi. Literally no help from anybody.

giffnockanon 23 November 23 11:25

I live in the most Jewish area of Glasgow (tiny as it is) and do not recognise the nonsense spouted here about harassment by Celtic fans, or indeed, anyone else. Just garbage.

Appalling what has happened to the Associate in this piece.

Melodrama 23 November 23 16:26

Oh, someone said something *nasty* about me! [Back of hand to forehead, swoons and collapses elegantly on the floor]

Anonymous 23 November 23 21:27

And everyone that objects to thousands of people being killed and having their homes, schools and hospitals carpet-bombed with them inside, or the starving and cutting off of power and water is (of course) "anti-semitic".
If that were right, then reason, compassion, human rights and the rule of law would also be "anti-semitic".

Human 24 November 23 07:31

Oh, Giffnock is fine, but it's not even part of Glasgow . But I know literally one Scottish Jew (Rabbi Jacobs) who wouldn't disguise his head covering and would walk around the city centre with a kippa. Visible Jews - and I chose to be visible -have a very different experience of anti-Semitism. Not Twitter anti-Semitism - real physical intimidation, don't come back here these are our streets anti-Semitism.

Anonymous 24 November 23 07:54

Why would you be "proud" to be any religion? It doesn't say anything positive about you at all. You can only rightly be proud of the things you do. Batman was right - "it's not who you are, it's what you do that counts".

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