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May 4, 2023 1:01 pm

‘We’re Hizbullahi’: Jewish Children Harassed Near Day School in UK


avatar by Dion J. Pierre

Screenshot from footage of two men loudly playing a pro-Hezbollah song near a Jewish day school in the UK. Photo: StandWithUs UK

Two men filmed themselves harassing a group of Jewish children near a day school in north London, according to footage shared on Wednesday by StandWithUs UK, an educational nonprofit.

“Drove past the Zionist school on full blast,” a caption to the video reads, as they loudly play an Arabic song with lyrics extolling Hezbollah: “We’re Hizbullahi [members of Hezbollah] and I bear witness.”

The men, whose identities remain unknown, laughed at the children, many of whom were wearing a kippah and preparing the cross the intersection they were passing through.

Hezbollah, a militant Shiite group that is backed by Iran and has been designated as a terrorist group by two dozen Arabic and Western countries.

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“It is not normal for Jewish schoolchildren to be targeted and bullied because of their identity. However, it is a sad reality that many Jewish individuals and communities in the UK and around the world face,” StandWithUs UK said on Wednesday. “Antisemitism individuals are no longer hesitant to display their hate out in the open. It is unacceptable for any group of people to fear being targeted physically, emotionally, or mentally because of their identity, whether in public or online.”

Antisemitic hate crimes are a constant threat to the quality of life of the UK’s Jewish community. Despite declining 27 percent in 2022, the number of incidents most recently identified by Community Security Trust in a report issued in February, 1,652, was the fifth highest since it began compiling data on them in 1984. In London, a wave of crime has been hitting the Orthodox Jewish Community, with dozens of incidents reported by Shomrim Stamford Hill, a community watch group, in recent years

An increasing number of incidents target children. 15 percent of victims, CST said, were minors. 20 percent of offenders, authorities report, were minors themselves and more likely to have been motivated by conspiracies and antisemitic tropes.

“Years of anti-Jewish hate have left a lasting legacy, and what we consider ‘normal’ today would have been an alarm call just a few years ago,” CST chief executive Mark Gardner said in February. “The growing involvement of younger people in antisemitism shows us what the future may hold if we do not address this problem urgently consistently, and with a lasting commitment for action.”

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

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