Students from a Jewish high school in New York City, who participated in a large pro-Israel demonstration in Washington D.C., experienced verbal abuse while traveling on a D.C. metro train. The incident occurred on Tuesday and involved students Shira Rouhani, Lea Applebaum, and Leah Borenstein from Yeshiva University High School for Girls, located in Queens, New York.
The students, accompanied by a teacher, were subjected to a hostile confrontation by an unidentified woman on the train. The woman's aggressive tirade was captured in a video recorded by 17-year-old Rouhani, which was later shared with the New York Post. In the footage, the woman is heard accusing the students of endorsing the “killing of innocent people,” and that they were “f*cking disgusting,” the Postreports.
The woman's outburst reportedly included derogatory remarks, calling the students “dirty pigs,” and calling them “fat and ugly.”
Borenstein, 17, said she felt intimidated by the encounter, which brought her to tears. She shared her apprehensions about attending the rally, given the recent uptick in antisemitic incidents, particularly in New York City.
The Yeshiva University High School for Girls, along with its counterpart for boys and the university, had suspended classes on Tuesday to facilitate students' participation in the D.C. rally. According to Rouhani, the rally was a peaceful event.
“I was very scared,” Rouhani, said “I’ve never dealt with antisemitism before."
“She meant it from her gut,” the high school senior, who was wearing an Israeli flag on the train, continued. “Her voice was very aggressive.”
The teen also said her group had not been caused any disruption whilst riding the subway.
Borenstein, who was shaken up after the incident, said: “It’s very scary she had the audacity to get up and yell at us in front of everyone.”
Following the departure of the woman from the train, the students recalled that multiple other passengers approached them, expressing their support.
The girls said they have seen an increase in antisemitic incidents in New York City. Borenstein mentioned that due to these concerns, some of her friends have opted to use Uber for transportation rather than the subway.
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