Transport officials have tracked down and held a meeting with the driver who played a pro-Palestine song on the loudspeaker of a packed train.
Commuters were stunned to hear words of support for the pro-Palestine rally in Sydney en-route to the event at Hyde Park on Saturday.
The Sydney rally was one of several held across the country condemning Israel’s retaliation to the Hamas terror attacks.
‘We love you all. Here’s a song for you guys,’ the driver is heard saying, through the train’s PA system.
The train driver then played Dammi Falastini, a song by Arab Idol winner Mohammed Assaf, about his affection for Palestine.
2GB broadcaster Ray Hadley and several Sky News hosts expressed outrage over the ‘bizarre’ act, which was revealed by Daily Mail Australia on Tuesday.
It’s understood the train worker has been spoken to by authorities and is unlikely to be sacked, despite mounting calls for his employment to be terminated.
A group of women heading to a pro-Palestine rally in Sydney on Saturday got a huge surprise on the train
It comes after a tube driver who led a chant of ‘free, free Palestine’ on a London Underground train on the weekend was suspended by transport authorities.
Hadley told listeners on Wednesday he’s asked NSW transport minister Jo Haylen for answers as he blasted the worker’s actions.
‘She’s (the minister) has come back to me to say it’s being investigated,’ Hadley said.
He added that Dammi Falastini, regarded as an ode to Palestine, was removed from Spotify and Apple Music earlier this year due to uproar.
‘But here we are playing it up a train.’
‘It’s not the role of a train driver to do anything but drive a train and worry about the safety of passengers,’ Hadley continued.
‘I’d be a bit concerned about someone so radicalised driving a train on the Sydney network. It’s a bit bizarre.’
Transport for NSW launched an investigation after being alerted to the videos online by Daily Mail Australia.
‘Sydney Trains has identified the staff member and they have subsequently met with management about their responsibility to only use the public address system for customer service and safety announcements,’ a spokeswoman said on Wednesday.
The saga dominated headlines on Sky News on Tuesday night.
‘This is through the train carriage speakers, put on by an official of Sydney Trains,’ Peta Credlin said.
‘I’ll you what, those sorts of images will go around the world.’
2GB broadcaster Ray Hadley was one of several commentators to blast the train driver’s actions on the weekend
Liberal Senator Hollie Hughes agreed.
‘This isn’t Sydney. This isn’t the amazing city that I love. If this is a Sydney Trains official, the guy’s feet shouldn’t touch the ground at the speed he’s fired,’ she said.
‘You might have a view towards the Palestinians but how anyone could be seen celebrating what the Hamas did and their atrocities in recent weeks is incomprehensible and disgusting.’
Sky News presenter Caleb Bond called for heads to roll over the incident as he blasted the train driver.
‘You don’t get to do that. I don’t care what political statement you’re making. You’re on a train for heaven’s sake. You don’t get to use public infrastructure to advocate for any political cause.’
‘If you’re a Jewish person on that train, it’s not as though you can get off on the tracks. You’ve got to wait until the next station. You would feel so unsafe and uncomfortable in your own country.’
Footage of the incident was posted to social media by several commuters.
‘When the train driver starts playing Dammi Falastini on the train going into the City for the Sydney protest,’ one video was captioned.
In another video, a group of women were seen bopping in their seats to the music, giving a thumbs-up and clapping.
‘The train driver made our day,’ they said.
Australian Jewish community leaders condemned the train worker, including Anti-Defamation Commission chair Dr Dvir Abramovich, whose police inspector cousin was recently killed in a terrorist attack in Tel Aviv.
‘This hijacking and weaponization of a public train to promote Palestinian propaganda is shameful and absolutely unacceptable,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.
There were huge smiles when Dammi Falastini, a hit song by Palestinian pop star Mohammed Assaf began blaring through the carriage
‘Imagine the pain and fear a Jewish person or an Israeli-Australian, who may have lost family to the Hamas atrocities, would have felt hearing this music.
‘It is no wonder that the Jewish community feels on edge and under siege, given the open displays of hatred that are spreading like wildfire throughout the country.
‘Sydney Trains and the NSW government must take disciplinary action against this driver and assure all passengers that it is safe to use their trains.’
Australian Jewish Association also expressed disappointment.
‘If it is confirmed that a Sydney train worker engaged in political advocacy on the taxpayers’ dollar, they need to be sacked,’ Australian Jewish Association chief executive Robert Gregory said.
‘After the worst massacre of Jewish people since the Holocaust, some have taken to celebrating and calling for more violence.
‘Every major Pro-Palestinian demonstration in Sydney, including the one last weekend, has included incitement to violence and antisemitism.
‘Sydney’s public transport is for everyone not for political activism, and we call on the NSW Government to take action immediately.’
A Sydney Trains spokesperson said in a statement on Tuesday: ‘Sydney Trains is aware of the circulating videos on social media and we are looking into this matter.’
Meanwhile in London, a tube driver who recently led a chant of ‘free, free Palestine’ on a London Underground train was suspended by authorities.
Several commuters shared footage after a Sydney train driver played a Palestinian song over the loudspeaker
Thousands of pro-Palestine supporters marched through the streets of Sydney on Saturday
The incident happened on Saturday as around 100,000 protesters took part in a pro-Palestinian demonstration.
Footage posted appeared to show the chant being led over the train’s speaker system by the Tube driver.
The driver of the Central Line service said ‘free, free’ to which the passengers responded ‘Palestine’ – a popular chant at protests – leading to pressure to sack the driver.
‘A driver has now been identified and suspended whilst we continue to fully investigate the incident in line with our policies and procedures,’ Transport for London’s chief operating officer Glynn Barton said.