Two Israelis harassed by controllers on Budapest public transport 

Two Israeli women fell victim to fraud by ticket inspectors and endured antisemitic insults on public transport in Budapest, Hungary. The Action and Protection Foundation (TEV) is providing them with all necessary legal assistance to ensure that the perpetrators are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

An Israeli teacher from Jerusalem, Tamar Jordani, and her mother were travelling several stops on the subway in Budapest. Upon exiting the vehicle, two self-claimed ticket inspectors tried to extort money from them. The inspectors claimed that their tickets were invalid because the two went outside the centre of Budapest.

„My mother knows Budapest very well, and an argument broke out when she told them that what they claimed was not true,” said Tamar. „Very quickly, we realised that they tried to trick us. They took our passports to write a fine. They stopped other tourists who got off the train and made the same claim against everyone. We did not agree to pay.”

According to Jordani, the inspectors stood in a corner where there were no surveillance cameras. „They demanded that we pay a fine and even suggested that if we paid in cash, they would give us a 50% discount.” The Israeli women called the police and started taking pictures. At this point, one of the inspectors attacked Jordani, pushing her on the floor and trying to get her camera, while the other punched her mother, a 65-year-old woman with a disability certificate.”

As the confrontation continued, the attackers realised the police were on the way and tried to get away; however, the Israeli women decided not to let it go. At this point, the attack got antisemitic. Jordani says they knew they were Israelis due to their passports and told them, „You are Jews; go to Israel”, making an obscene and antisemitic long-nose gesture.

Finally, the police arrived and took the Israeli women and the inspectors to the station for questioning. „We filed a complaint about an assault; a government employee was antisemitic and violent towards us. But to our astonishment, the police, even though they admitted in the end that it was a fraud and there was no problem with the card, refused to take any action against the perpetrators.”

The women called for help from the representatives of the Jewish community in Hungary, one of whose leaders even came to the police station and helped them. The interrogation was delayed for many hours until an interpreter arrived.

„They made us sit in the corridor for 8 hours; they didn’t even offer a glass of water.” Jordani was appalled by the fact that, as abused victims, they had to sit with the perpetrators, who were not handcuffed or supervised. „It was clear that they wanted us to cancel the lawsuit,” said Jordani. According to Jordani, the inspectors refused to answer the investigators, but the police seemingly did not care about the lack of answers.