Elderly Israeli passengers thrown from a cab in Budapest

A cab passenger shared an outrageous incident from October, during which he and two fellow passengers, who were Israeli citizens, were asked to get out of the cab they ordered.

Three passengers were asked to get out of the cab they ordered after two of them were speaking to each other in Hebrew. The two elderly Israeli citizens and the third passengers were thrown out of the cab operated by the company called Bolt after a mere few meters.

According to the report, the two Israelis looked at each other in confusion, and the Hungarian passenger at first thought he could not hear well. Then he asked the driver why he ordered them to get out of the car.

“I’m not taking you anywhere,” said the driver, adding that he does not owe them any explanation. He later remarked “because I’m not in the mood”. He pulled over and instructed the passengers again to get out, who, having no choice, complied. They were charged HUF 510 for the fare.

“My fellow Israeli passengers were an 86-year-old father and his 50-year-old daughter, a retired architect and an interior designer. We were not even allowed to give the impression that we were thugs who had to be ordered out of the car before we left,” recalled the passenger who reported the incident.

The company initially responded that they were distancing themselves from the incident and had launched an investigation into the matter. They later informed the Action and Protection Foundation that they had investigated the incident and taken the necessary measures, but were not in a position to share further details due to the Data Protection Act.

The passenger who reported the incident said the response was nonsense, as he had provided Bolt with the driver’s details, the exact time and place, and was not, of course, looking for further personal details.

“As one affected by the incident, I am interested in the procedure, the result of a fair investigation and, above all, its outcome. I feel that I have been given a bunch of fine-sounding slogans, which stressed how much they distance themselves from racism and antisemitic expressions, but was then simply shrugged off with a vague sentence, an unintelligible cipher. As if I really had nothing to do with what happened to me. I will never know what they did, if they did anything at all,” said the passenger.

24.hu also contacted Bolt about the matter. The colleagues of the newspaper wanted to know whether the allegedly antisemitic or xenophobic driver could continue to transport passengers under the Bolt umbrella, but they essentially got the same answer as their reader, the reporting passenger. The company expressed their regret, and then went on to say that Bolt strongly condemns all forms of antisemitism, racism and hate speech, and that they completely distance themselves from the behaviour of the driver in question. They also stressed that the drivers were not employed by Bolt, but are independent partners who use their platform to provide their services. They did not provide any further information, citing the Data Protection Act.

According to 24.hu, the response is also interesting because transport companies typically report that they dismiss their employees because of some proven, offensive incident.

The Action and Protection Foundation has not experienced such a serious antisemitic incident for years. We have contacted the victims and are providing them with all legal assistance. We have every reason to believe that the Hungarian authorities will investigate the incident swiftly and firmly, in the spirit of the zero tolerance of antisemitism.