newsOctober 7

‘That moment brought us back to Oct. 7,’ say brothers harassed in England

Brothers Daniel and Neria Sharabi survived Hamas's Oct. 7 massacre, only to be harassed by U.K. border agents in Manchester. 

Daniel Sharabi (wearing helmet) and other Israelis regroup and treat the wounded after fleeing Hamas's attack on the Supernova Music Festival at Kibbutz Re'im on Oct. 7, 2023. Credit: Courtesy.
Daniel Sharabi (wearing helmet) and other Israelis regroup and treat the wounded after fleeing Hamas's attack on the Supernova Music Festival at Kibbutz Re'im on Oct. 7, 2023. Credit: Courtesy.

After surviving Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre at the Supernova music festival in southern Israel, brothers Daniel and Neria Sharabi last week were once again the victims of antisemitism—this time, as they entered England via Manchester Airport. 

“That moment brought us back to Oct. 7—the hate of Jews and the desire to come after us, we felt this feeling all over again,” Daniel Sharabi told JNS. 

On Oct. 7, the Sharabi brothers, who both served in the Israel Defense Forces, Daniel as a combat medic and Neria in the infantry, saved dozens of people from certain death as they took shelter behind a tank while Neria fought off terrorists and Daniel provided first aid to the wounded.

The brothers departed Israel on March 24 for a short trip, three days and two nights, to speak to the local Manchester Jewish community.

“When we presented our Israeli passports to the border control officers, they began asking us questions. I told them we came for Purim to speak with our community. My brother told them we were there to speak about Oct. 7,” said Daniel. 

“At that point, the officer asked us what our religion is. We told them that we were Jewish survivors of the Supernova festival and that we came to tell our story.”

According to Sharabi, the officer then told the brothers to wait, without specifying the reason for the delay or explaining what the next steps would be. 

“After an hour and a half, someone came to interrogate us in a very aggressive manner, repeating the same questions multiple times,” Daniel told JNS. 

“Neria asked them why they were doing this. Was it because we were Jewish? The officer replied that he hoped we would not do here what we do in Gaza,” said Daniel. “We did not respond because we understood that if we kept defending ourselves, we could end up in jail.”

He told JNS that a female border officer had expressed discontent at the fact that the survivors had been invited to Britain to share their story.

“When they finally stamped our passport, we did not want to go in anymore. We wanted to come back to Israel, but the community was waiting to hear from us, and we were not going to let them down,” he said. 

“It really saddened me to hear from British Jews that it is no longer possible to wear a kippah or a Star of David in the streets of London,” he continued. “They told us that they hide their identity and don’t tell anyone that they’re Jewish. They’re very scared.”

In the aftermath of Hamas’s murderous attack that left 1,200 people dead and thousands more wounded, the brothers reported for military reserve duty but were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and sent back home to recover. 

Instead, they created a nonprofit organization called “For the Survivors and the Wounded,” which assists other survivors of the massacre. 

To maintain their initiative, the Sharabis go on speaking tours all over the world, raise awareness and funds.

“The Chabad rabbi of Manchester invited us to speak to the community. We knew about the rise of antisemitism in England and, at first, we didn’t really want to go but he convinced us,” said Daniel. 

The brothers are now launching additional speaking initiatives for Oct. 7 survivors to share their stories all over the world.

“We want to give them a voice. We want them to speak about what they went through the way we do. We will start this project after Passover. We called it ‘Bring awareness to Oct. 7 in Israel,’” he said.

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