Photo Credit: Hadashot HaBoker / screenshot
Scars from a beating allegedly received from Bucharest riot police

Is global anti-Semitism spreading to Romania?

The Israel Embassy in Bucharest has formally protested to the Romanian government after four Israeli tourists were dragged out of their car and beaten by riot police in the capital.

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The incident took place on Friday, August 10 during a demonstration in the city against government corruption.

Avi Sadeh was one of the four tourists who was attacked, G4Media.ro reported. He returned to Israel shortly after, describing to Channel 12 News what happened on the night in question, while displaying the scars from the beating.

The tourists were returning to their hotel when they were stopped by the police, according to a report posted by Romania Insider. “They were dragged out of the car, even though they showed their passports and explained they had nothing” to do with the protest taking place in the Romanian capital, according to the embassy.

Avi Sadeh was quoted as saying, “I tried to explain that we are tourists and that this was a misunderstanding, but that didn’t interest them. It was psychotic. I went to the Israeli Embassy in Bucharest but it was closed. I want to file a complaint against the Romanian Gendarmerie,” he added.

“Given the evidence that we have at this time, it seems that innocent Israeli tourists were very close to the place where violent incidents occurred Friday night while traveling with a taxi from the hotel to a restaurant in Bucharest,” the Israeli Embassy said in a news release issued about the incident.

“They were stopped, pulled out of the car and despite showing their foreign passports and explaining they had nothing to do with the events in progress, were beaten by law enforcement officers.

“We consider this incident to be unacceptable and extremely serious. The Israeli tourists who suffered from such brutal intervention will file a criminal complaint against the attackers,” the Israeli Embassy said.

The Israeli tourists are planning to file a criminal complaint in the case, according to the report. There’s been no comment by Bucharest police.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.