'You Should Have Died In Auschwitz': Melbourne Rabbi Abused In Anti-Semitic Rant
A Melbourne rabbi has been left "terrified" after being blasted with a shocking anti-Semitic rant while driving, in which he was told he "should have died in Auschwitz".
10 daily has obtained video of the alleged incident, said to have taken place in the south Melbourne suburb of Brighton on Monday evening.
The rabbi, who did not want to give his name for fear of reprisal, captured video on his phone of a passenger in another car abusing him while stopped in traffic on the Nepean Highway around 10pm.
"Would you like me to get out and show you what Hitler did?" the male front-seat passenger of a grey four wheel drive yelled through an open window, as the female driver looked on.
"When you kill someone, it'll be your fault, you fucking selfish cunt of a Jew. You should have died in the Auschwitz."
The female driver covered her face and waved her hand at the camera, before shrugging her shoulders and turning back to the road.
It is understood the rabbi only moved to Australia in recent years, and was wearing a traditional Jewish skullcap as he was on his way to a synagogue service at the time of the incident.
The incident was sparked by an altercation on the road, with the other motorists believing the rabbi may have been touching his phone while in the car.
Dr Dvir Abramovich, chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission, told 10 daily that such incidents were "rare" but "terrifying".
"It's pretty clear the climate for Australian Jews is growing increasingly hostile," he said.
Abramovich pointed to other recent anti-Semitic incidents, such as swastika stickers being put on a Melbourne nursing home and people performing Nazi salutes and displaying SS logos at a far-right rally at St Kilda, of a "virus" of anti-Semitism "spreading like wildfire" in Australia.
"It may be an uncomfortable truth for some, but over the last year, the level of hatred, and the number of reported incidents against Jews are on a scale I have not witnessed before in our nation," he claimed.
"We know that violent words can turn deadly, and such disturbing outbursts, which shock the conscience, not only traumatise the victim, but shake the affected community and leave them scared and vulnerable."
"This terrifying incident provides further evidence that racists and extremists are less inhibited about expressing their poisonous bigotry in public, and that we must redouble our efforts to address the growing threat of anti-Semitism in Australia."
READ MORE: When Is It Fair To Call Someone A 'Nazi'?
Abramovich noted the incident had occurred in the week of Holocaust Remembrance Day, with January 27 -- the day before the outburst captured on video -- marking the 74th anniversary of the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz being liberated.
"This is a time to come together around our common values of decency and respect and to move beyond word," Abramovich said.
"I call on the state and federal governments to come up with a concrete action plan, with effective educational and prevention strategies, so as to ensure that this stain on our society, will never become normalised.”
Victoria Police told 10 daily that an official complaint has not yet been received, but that officers were making enquiries.
"Crimes motivated by prejudice cause serious harm to victims, often leaving them, and their communities, feeling vulnerable, threatened and isolated. Victoria Police is here to help. We do not tolerate violence, including that which is motivated by prejudice, racism or discrimination," police said in a statement.
"People who experience or witness crimes or incidents motivated by prejudice should report them to police at their local police station."
Victoria Police said anyone with "information about this incident or another crime motivated by prejudice" could confidentially call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.