British Jew Recounts Having to Flee His London Neighborhood After Enduring More Than 100 Antisemitic Assaults
A Jewish man was forced to flee his East End neighborhood in London after being physically and verbally assaulted more than 100 times, the Newham Recorder reported on Wednesday.
Yisroel Shalom, 52, recounted to the British newspaper the traumatic incidents he endured between 2010 and 2013 by Newham neighborhood thugs. For example, he was spat at while walking in the street and had swastikas and death threats graffitied on his home.
Following one particularly gruesome attack, in which he was held at knife-point while his assailants yelled “kill the Jew,” Shalom said he resorted to wearing a stab-proof vest each time he left his home.
Shalom, who has been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), said he is speaking out now about the attacks in light of the Labour Party’s antisemitism scandal.
“I was driven out of my home. I had to flee my home just because I was a Jew,” he said. “I can’t go into Newham because I am a Jew. You hear about these no-go areas for police in France. But I never thought for a second that would happen in Newham under a so-called democratic governance.”
“I’m supposed to be able to walk down any damn street that I want in this country but sadly that’s just not how it is,” he added.
In December 2011, Shalom said he was punched and kicked by five men at the Canning Town bus station. In April 2012, a man hit Shalom across the head outside the West Ham Tube station and shouted, “You’re an insult to Allah.” That same year in December, while walking in the street, a man told Shalom “Hitler was king” and to “get away from here.”
Since moving from Newham, Shalom said he cannot bring himself to visit the neighborhood. “I’ve got friends and neighbors living there that I haven’t seen in over a year…” he said.
According to the report, the number of antisemitic hate crimes in Newham has doubled over the last year. A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police told the paper, “We will not tolerate hate crime and take positive action to investigate all allegations, support victims and arrest offenders. Victims of hate crime must be assured that they will be taken seriously by the police. No one should suffer in silence.”
Across Britain, hate crimes against Jews have increased in the past two years. According to “The National Antisemitic Crime Audit,” published by the watchdog group Campaign Against Antisemitism, almost 1,000 antisemitic incidents were reported in 2015, a 25.7 percent increase. During the same period, violent crimes against Jews have doubled.