MELBOURNE, Australia — A Melbourne man has been arrested and is expected to be charged over stalking the victim of an anti-semitic attack who was allegedly sent death threats and pictures of dead Jewish people.
Menachem Vorchheimer had been walking to his synagogue in Caulfield in 2006 when he was abused, had his sabbath hat and skull cap snatched off his head and was punched in the eye in a dispute with a group of drunken men in a mini bus.
Two of the men were later convicted and a third was fined without conviction for offences ranging from offensive behaviour, using insulting language and using insulting words in a public place.
However, B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission executive officer Manny Waks said yesterday’s arrest was in relation to threatening anti-semitic mail Mr Vorchheimer was sent last year, several months after the attack.
“Included in the material was basically threatening information in there which included pictures of Jewish people who were dead, as well as threats of killing Jews,” Mr Waks said.
”It was essentially a threatening letter with anti-semitic material in there as well.”
A police spokesman today said the police Ethical Standards Department executed a search warrant today at an undisclosed location in Melbourne and arrested a 40-year-old man, who was interviewed in relation to a complaint made to police by Mr Vorchheimer.
The man was released and was expected to be charged on summons with stalking and other offences, the spokesman said.
The spokesman would not say if the incident was race-related.
Mr Waks said there had previously been allegations that someone connected to the police force may have sent the threatening mail because the driver of the bus involved in 2006 was an off-duty policeman.
The Vorchheimer family is currently pursuing legal action against the bus driver.
But police today said the arrested man was not a serving or former Victoria Police member.
Mr Vorchheimer and his wife and two children moved to New York after the 2006 attack and the threatening mail, Mr Waks said.
Mr Waks said the family had moved because they felt insecure after the attack and that “it would be reasonable” to think receiving the allegedly threatening mail had added to this.
But Mr Waks was pleased police had made an arrest.
”This police action sends a clear message to the community; antisemitism will not be tolerated under any circumstances, no matter how major or minor the incident is,” he said.