An Uber driver who sped off when he saw his next customers were Jewish has been banned from the app.
The driver, identified only as Ahmad, told the pair he did not “take Jews,” when he spotted the two men wearing traditional kippahs on their heads in Wembley.
Sam Adler, who was with his business partner, said he believed the driver noticed both men were wearing the traditional Jewish cap.
Mr Adler told the Jewish Chronicle: “[He] turned around, and as he drove past us, said ‘I don’t take Jews’. Then he hightailed it, just pegged it.”
The driver cancelled the booking over the app after leaving.
Uber said the incident on April 1 was “totally unacceptable” and said it “does not tolerate any form of discrimination.”
Mr Adler said the company had refused to pay compensation, telling him: “We would never want to minimise an experience like you describe by putting an arbitrary monetary value on the situation.”
Mr Adler said the incident, which follows the resignation of nine Labour MPs over the party’s handling of antisemitism, made him feel that “what is going on in Parliament is spreading out and having a wider effect on people“. A spokesman added: “We have been in contact with this rider to offer our support. As soon as we are made aware of these situations we remove a driver’s access from the app, and in London report them to the Metropolitan Police.”
Antisemitic hate crimes rose by 16% in 2018, the highest level on record for the third consecutive year, according to the Jewish charity Community Security Trust (CST). Mark Gardner, the group’s communications director, said the latest incident was “an ugly example of basic racism and the kind of thing we don’t expect to hear or see in this day and age.”
CST recorded over 100 antisemitic incidents in each month of 2018, saying the rise “suggests an enduring situation in which people appear to be more confident to express their views.”