Priti Patel

Enough is enough. Sadiq Khan must take action on antisemitic hate crime now

Despite a surge in violence City Hall is yet to release a London wide strategy to protect Jews


LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 25: Members of the Orthodox Jewish community in Stamford Hill shortly after sunset, the start of Purim on February 25, 2021 in London, England. Last year's Purim occurred before the first Coronavirus lockdown came into force. This year the celebration will bu scaled back significantly, with Rabbis asking that, among other measures, mishloach manos – traditional gifts of food to family and friends – be left on doorsteps with people stepping back to a safe distance. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

February 04, 2022 10:18

Over the last week we have witnessed scenes of shocking harassment, violence and abuse of Orthodox Jews in Stamford Hill, Hackney.

There have been reports of windows smashed, a five-year-old spat at as he played in a park, two men violently attacked as they left work and antisemitic abuse shouted from a hire bus as it travelled through the borough.

The last incident took place on Saturday afternoon, the day of the Sabbath, as families were leaving their synagogues.

It has chilling echoes of the horrific scenes we witnessed last May when a convoy of cars drove through a Jewish community in north London shouting foul antisemitic messages from a megaphone.

In the wake of that appalling incident, the London Assembly passed a motion calling on London Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner Sadiq Khan to draw up an action plan to tackle a surge in antisemitic violence and abuse that has terrorised communities.

Yet six months on, Jewish families are still waiting for a London-wide strategy to tackle the antisemitism that blights the capital and leaves too many families living in fear.

It is deeply troubling to me that the very real concerns of a minority community who have been subjected to repeated physical and verbal assaults on their streets and in their schools, their places of work and worship have been ignored by City Hall.

As Home Secretary, I am determined to tackle antisemitic abuse in all its forms and ensure that all perpetrators of anti-Jewish hate crime face justice.

The Home Office has this year provided £14m for the protection of Jewish institutions — such as faith schools, synagogues and communal buildings — administered through the Community Security Trust.

In the same week that Stamford Hill witnessed a spate of anti-Jewish race hatred, Britain marked Holocaust Memorial Day: a stark reminder of the dangers of allowing antisemitism to spread unchallenged.

We must never become complacent. Antisemitism, whether it is on the streets or online, must never be allowed to fester and grow in our society, which means we must always act with urgency to stamp it out.

We all have a responsibility to stop intolerance and hate from spreading in our communities and to stand together to say: Never again.

Priti Patel is the Home Secretary

February 04, 2022 10:18

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