Four incidents in 10 days ‘instilled fear’ in Charedi community
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Four incidents in 10 days ‘instilled fear’ in Charedi community

Rabbi Gluck, president of Shomrim, said he has met with home secretary Priti Patel’s team and is set to speak with Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick.

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

Screengrab dated 26/01/22 taken with permission from video posted on twitter by @Shomrim of a teenager attacking two Jewish men while they were locking up their shop in Cadoxton Avenue, Haringey, London. Issue date: Thursday January 27, 2022.
Screengrab dated 26/01/22 taken with permission from video posted on twitter by @Shomrim of a teenager attacking two Jewish men while they were locking up their shop in Cadoxton Avenue, Haringey, London. Issue date: Thursday January 27, 2022.

Four incidents of suspected antisemitism in and around Stamford Hill in the past 10 days have “instilled fear”, a community leader warned this week.

Rabbi Herschel Gluck, president of neighbourhood watch group Shomrim, said he has met with home secretary Priti Patel’s team and is set to speak with Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick.

This comes after Malachi Thorpe, 18, was remanded in custody after he allegedly targeted two strictly-Orthodox men as they closed a shop in Haringey.

Other incidents reported by the group include a bus driving through Stamford Hill on Shabbat with speakers reportedly blaring “Yiddos go home”. Shomrim said: “They appeared to be targeting Orthodox Jews leaving synagogue.”

Police are also investigating after a five-year-old child was allegedly spat at, and youths “terrorised” families in a residential road.

Gluck said the incidents against Jews were “sadly part of a large spike that began about 10 months ago. It is ongoing and extremely little has been done to deal with it by the authorities.”

He added: “There’s a general feeling of negativity towards minorities, including the Jewish community, and that has percolated down to people on the street.” Asked if the community was scared, he said: “No, not scared to go out. But it’s certainly instilling fear.

“People are still getting on with their lives. But people feel strongly that this needs to be dealt with.” He added: “The authorities and the government have to change tack and take these issues seriously. Tackling the rise in antisemitism is certainly achievable. The amount of resources required for this isn’t large, but they need to be targeted to combat this situation.” Rabbi Gluck added that Charedi leaders are “constantly meeting” with politicians and local officials.

In a statement, the Met said it is “aware of a video posted by Shomrim of an open top bus in Stamford Hill, along with reports of antisemitic abuse being broadcast”. and was making enquiries. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Met or Shomrim, using crime reference 4602717/22.

Rabbi Herschel Gluck

Ensignbus, the firm that hired out the bus, told Jewish News: “We had absolutely no idea that this would happen… and we are now investigating the matter and will be speaking to the client.” The driver “unfortunately did not hear anything due to the general amount of noise from the number of people upstairs”. 

The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG), which hired the bus, denied the claim made by Shomrim. The video, which has no sound, has been handed to police and Ensignbus. 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 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. It told Shomrim: “We urge you to retract the Twitter post and police complaint as a matter of urgency.” 

The Met confirmed it was called on 30 January to a report of a child being spat on at Clapton Common; crime reference 4791 30/01/22

Shomrim urged anyone with information about youths “terrorising” Jewish families to come forward using reference 6556 29/01/22.

 

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