‘Heil Hitler’: London Antisemitic Crime Wave Continues
by Dion J. Pierre
A new wave of antisemitic hate crimes has London’s Orthodox Jewish community on edge, according to multiple reports by neighborhood watch group Shomrim Stamford Hill.
This week, the group reported that someone knocked a 16 year old Jewish boy’s hat off his head “in a completely unprovoked incident” near Stoke Newington Railway Station, and that a tall man wearing an orange hoodie intentionally bumped into an Orthodox man while passing him on the street. Another man, who has been arrested and charged with committing a hate crime, shouted “Heil Hitler, I love Hitler” at Jewish worshipers leaving synagogue on Purim. He was, Shomrim said, armed with a knife.
Ninety-three antisemitic hate crimes have already occurred in London in 2023, according to data released by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) earlier this month. A substantial number are committed against members of the Orthodox Jewish community in London, one of the largest in Europe. MPS recorded 44 such incidents in the British capital in December. There were 43 in November, bringing the total for 2022 to 575.
A total of 3,211 antisemitic hate crimes have been recorded in London since 2018, with incidents peaking in 2021, when there were 853.
In January, a man entered a Jewish bakery and attempted to assault a Jewish woman after asking, “Are you Jewish?” That same month, a Jewish man and his infant son were assaulted while taking a walk in the Stamford Hill, which is a neighborhood of North London where large concentrations of Orthodox Jews live. The father was slashed. Later, a woman in Stamford Hill was stalked and assaulted by an unknown perpetrator.
Such crimes were persistent during much of 2022. In August, a woman wielding a wooden stick approached a Jewish woman near the Seven Sisters area and declared “I am doing it because you are Jew,” while striking her over the head and pouring liquid on her.The next day, the same woman — described by an eyewitness as a “serial racist” — chased a mother and her baby with a wooden stick after spraying a liquid on the baby, and that same week, three people accosted a Jewish teenager and knocked his hat off his head while yelling “f****** Jew.”
The ongoing attacks have occurred alongside a similar antisemitic crime wave in New York City.
Hasidic and Orthodox Jews in New York City are the minority group most victimized by hate crimes in the city, according to a Dec. 28 report by Americans Against Antisemitism (AAA), a US based group founded in 2019 to raise awareness of rising antisemitism.
Antisemitic hate crimes throughout New York City increased by 41 percent in 2022, based on an analysis of crime data conducted by The Algemeiner.
There were 293 total antisemitic incidents in 2022, rising from 207 overall in 2021. Notable attacks included the shooting of a Jewish man and his seven year old son with a BB gun outside a kosher market in Staten Island, an attack on three yeshiva students who were walking home in the Midwood section of Brooklyn, and a spree of shootings with gel guns on Orthodox Jews in Williamsburg.
Month to month comparisons of NYPD data show increases in antisemitic hate crimes for every month in 2022 except for April, May, and December. February and November, with 56 and 45 incidents each, saw the most.
The problem is not just localized to New York. Antisemitic incidents in the US in 2021 occurred at the highest numbers ever recorded, according to the latest annual audit by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) carried out in April, which began collecting data on them in 1979. Substantial increases in physical assaults were recorded, as well as over 1,500 incidents of harassment and vandalism.
Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.