UK authorities investigating alleged mistreatment of Israeli Oct. 7 survivors by airport security

U.K. Home Secretary James Cleverly (Photo: UK Home Office, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons)

By Andrew Lapin
March 26. 2024

(JTA) – British authorities Monday said they were investigating an incident in which two Israeli survivors of the Oct. 7 attack were detained and harassed at the Manchester airport.

Brothers Daniel and Neriyah Sharabi told news outlets they were held by airport security for two hours after mentioning they had survived Hamas’ massacre at the Nova music festival on Oct. 7. They said one security guard told them, “I don’t want you to do here what you do in Gaza.” 

The two had traveled to the United Kingdom at the invitation of a Chabad center and Jewish business council in the Manchester area in order to raise money for other survivors of the attacks.

James Cleverly, the U.K.’s Home Secretary, wrote on the social network X, formerly Twitter, that he had launched an investigation into the incident.

“We do not tolerate antisemitism or any form of discrimination,” Cleverly wrote in response to a request from the Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester & Region to look into the claims. “This incident will be handled in line with our disciplinary procedures.”

The brothers, who were flying in from Brussels, were eventually released and allowed to enter the country. In his request to Cleverly for an investigation, the head of the Jewish council, Marc Levy, wrote, “The only reason for their detention and interrogation was because they are Israeli.”

The United Kingdom has seen tensions around the Israel-Hamas war, and the Community Security Trust, a British Jewish group, has reported a spike in antisemitism since Oct. 7. While British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been steadfast in his support for Israel, left-wing parties have gained ground with anti-Zionist rhetoric and some British Jews have been targeted for their connections to Israel.

The Sharabis have been celebrated as heroes in Israel for taking action on Oct. 7 that saved dozens from Hamas fighters. The two reportedly fended off Hamas using spare weapons they found in a tank, while receiving instructions over the phone from their former Israel Defense Forces officer.

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