Church accused of blaring ‘Yiddos go home’ from bus last Shabbat denies claim

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Church accused of blaring ‘Yiddos go home’ from bus last Shabbat denies claim

Universal Church of the Kingdom of God said it is “very disturbed” by the accusation made by Shomrim, urging the group to withdraw its complaint to the police

Jack Mendel is the former Online Editor at the Jewish News.

Screenshot from Shomrim's video claiming 'yiddos go home' was chanted from a bus
Screenshot from Shomrim's video claiming 'yiddos go home' was chanted from a bus

The church accused of blaring “Yiddos go home” from a bus in Stamford Hill last Shabbat has staunchly denied the claim made by neighbourhood watch group Shomrim.

The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) said it is “very disturbed” by the accusation after Shomrim shared a video on Twitter, claiming a bus hired by the group drove through Stamford Hill, with speakers blaring the offensive line.

The video, which has no sound, was retweeted almost 450 times and received more than 70,000 views before being handed to police and the company that hired out the vehicle, Ensignbus, both of whom are investigating the incident.

In a statement to Ensignbus, Shomrim and the Met, UCKG said: “After speaking to our pastors who were in charge of the bus that day, and participants, we can absolutely deny these suggestions”, of antisemitism.

It said the bus took a route via our HelpCentres at Finsbury Park, Stamford Hill, Hackney, Wood Green and Kilburn to promote one of its initiatives.

“Volunteers shouted encouraging messages to passers-by and invitations to attend the event” as well as “the word ‘shalom’ in the phrase ‘shalom, shalom, shalom you can even come along’”.

“We do not think that can be construed as antisemitic”, the group added, saying the term is “almost universally recognised as the word for peace”.

“Our message was not aimed at any Orthodox Jewish people, who would hardly have been likely to attend our service, but at passers-by.”

While praising Shomrim in its “valuable work combating antisemitism”, the church said it is “deeply saddened by your suggestion that we acted in an antisemitic way”

“We urge you to retract the Twitter post and Police complaint as a matter of urgency”

Following the incident, Ensignbus said: “We hired out our vehicle with a driver to what we understood to be a church group. We had absolutely no idea that this would happen or was planned and we are now investigating the matter and will be speaking to the client. We are happy to assist the police with any investigation.”

It added: “Our driver unfortunately did not hear anything due to the general amount of noise from the number of people upstairs. If anyone has audio (or video with audio) of what was said, we would like to hear it to help with our own investigation.”

Shomrim urged anyone with information to come forward, using the crime reference number 4602717/22.

It has been approached for comment.

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