Chabad rabbi punched

By Marcus Dysch, September 14, 2012
Rabbi Yisroel Lew - "We feel safe"

Rabbi Yisroel Lew - "We feel safe"

A rabbi has described how he was punched during a scuffle with men who shouted antisemitic abuse.

Rabbi Yisroel Lew was struck in the ear after the men launched an unprovoked attack in the early hours of the morning in Baker Street, central London.

The Bloomsbury Chabad director and a friend had been moving items from his office when the incident happened.

Rabbi Lew said: “The men were across the road and started shouting. One of them was very aggressive. They were shouting about ‘Free Palestine’ and also ‘you ****ing Jews’.

“My friend remonstrated with them and I tried to calm the situation down, but they hit us. We hit back and there was a chap across the road making deliveries who came and got involved [on our side]. The men then ran away very fast.”

He reported the incident to the Community Security Trust and police who are now studying CCTV footage in an attempt to identify the group.

Rabbi Lew said he was aware of a number of recent attacks on rabbis in Europe, but stressed that British Jews should not be afraid.

“They targeted us because we were Jews”, he said, “but we feel very safe around here and I do not have a problem walking in the West End. Only very rarely do people shout abuse,” he added.

Last updated: 10:42am, September 14 2012