Jews across London are facing a surge of anti-Semitic attacks following the continued violence in Gaza.
On Sunday night, three youths tried to torch Brondesbury Park Synagogue in Willesden – earlier that day Israeli troops entered the Palestinian territory.
On New Year’s Eve, a man was pulled from his car just as he was about to drive off and assaulted by three men whom he described as being of Arab appearance. The victim did not suffer any serious injury.
A gang of youths chanting anti-Semitic slogans, waving flags and intimidating locals tried to enter restaurants and shops in Golders Green.
There are also reports from charities of anti-Semetic graffiti going up across the city, slogans include: “Kill Jews” and “Jews are scumbags.”
Barriers at school
In Manchester, barriers have been erected around the King David High School and access has been restricted to passholders.
Police are liaising closely with Jewish groups and have set up “reassurance patrols” in Jewish areas such as Golders Green, North Finchely, Stanmore, Stanford Hill and St John’s Wood.
The Jewish charity Community Security trust has been advising Britain’s Jews on how to protect themselves and taking repots on anti semitic attacks – it says they have taken 24 statements since the violence erupted.
‘We’ll kill Jews abroad’
These anti-Semitic incidents come in the wake of chilling comments by the Hamas leader that they will kill Jewish children anywhere in the world in revenge for the devastating attacks of the past few weeks. Mahmoud Zahar said:
“They have legitimised the murder of their own children by killing the children of Palestine. They have legitimised the killing of their people all over the world by killing our people.”
Speaking to the Times, Mark Gardner, of CST, warned Jews:
“When the Hamas leadership calls for revenge attacks on Jewish people, we have to be very, very concerned about what that means.”
Board of Deputies defiant
Speaking to The London Daily News, the Board of Deputies of British Jews was in a defiant mood saying Jews and Israelis would not be intimidated by those waging destruction in the Middle East and they were closely monitoring the situation. A spokesman told us:
“Hamas has never made any secret of their extremist and antisemitic agenda. A quick read through the Hamas Charter which outlines the focus of their ideology over the last twenty years, clearly demonstrates that they have never made any distinction between Jew and Israeli and have always considered the death of Jews to be a desirable objective. We are closely monitoring the worrying rise in antisemitic attacks since the start of the conflict in Gaza but our community in the UK, will simply not be intimidated by those who have already wrought so much destruction in the Middle East.”
Violent embassy protests
Meanwhile pro-Palestinian protesters continue to mass outside the Israeli embassy in a demo they vow will last all week despite the plunging temperatures.
A wave of anti-Israeli feeling spread over the city this weekend when large rallies were held across the city culminating in angry exchanges and clashes with the police as they fought to protect the Kensington embassy from attack.
Hundreds of demonstrators ripped up and hurled barriers threw sticks and missiles and attempted to rush the building.
Roads were closed and police in riot gear had to contain the 5,000 strong crowds on Kensington High Street. Protesters burned the Israeli flag and labeled the country a terrorist state.
Police say they are working with Muslims to insure protests pass off peacefully with non confrontational stewarding methods.
Jews under attack across Europe
Jews are on their guard across the continent as young disaffected Muslims bring the conflict in the Middle East to the capitals of Europe.
In Paris on Saturday riot police had to separate the 25,000 pro-Palestinian and 4,000 pro-Israeli demonstrators outside the Israeli embassy.
The National Bureau of Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism in France reported petrol bomb and hate attacks on synagogues, there have been similar reports in Belgium.