On 9 November 1938, the Nazis instigated a pogrom in Germany which became known as Kristallnacht.
Eighty three years later to the day, the Israeli Ambassador, Tzipi Hotovely, was forced out of the LSE by violent racists on the hunt for a Jew to attack. Social media posts make their aim very clear, with one from @lseclasswar calling for her car window to be smashed. “Let’s fuckin frighten her”, it continued. “Let’s make her shake.”
Footage of last night’s scenes has now been widely circulated. They shame the LSE. But they also shame our nation, because although the scale and extent of the violence last night may have been greater than usual, it is only a matter of scale. On campuses across the UK, Israeli spokespeople are always subject to attack when they appear. But the crucial point is it is not just official Israeli spokespeople who are targeted – it is Jews, and Jewish students.
The anti-Jewish racism is even institutionalised, with organised hate-fests such as the so-called “Israel Apartheid Week”, which provides an annual umbrella for some of the most open and virulent antisemitism.
Whether it is Israel Apartheid Week, last night’s violence or any of the other instances in which Jews are attacked, both verbally and physically, those responsible seem to think that the insertion of the word ‘Israel’ into their plans somehow obscures their targeting. It does not. No one is fooled.
Those responsible for last night's violence must be prosecuted. But that should be just the start.
Eighty three years after Kristallnacht, the ambassador of the world’s only Jewish state was attacked by a hate-filled mob on the streets of London. History is alive.