Violent attack against a Jewish victim in London during Hanukkah

London man attacked a local Jewish man while desecrating a Menorah in West Hampstead on December 2, reports The Jerusalem Post.

According to the police report, the victim saw the attacker pulling down the Menorah on West Hampstead Square and then stamping on it while shouting antisemitic abuse. The attacker was described as being around his 25-30s.

The attacker approached the victim “You look Jewish. Are you Jewish?”. The victim said he is not, to which the man replied “Good, I want to find a Jew to kill.” The victim went to a nearby supermarket and called the police, but they didn’t consider the matter urgent, though they promised to respond an hour later.

The attacker continued his rampage and harassed other local resident in the neighbourhood which has many Jewish residents. The victim and a supermarket employee confronted the attacker, drawing back his attention to the victim. “I knew you were Jewish, you lied to me… You are Jewish. I am going to kill you,” adding something in Arabic and then allegedly yelling “I want to kill my first Jew.”

The attacker chased the victim to the supermarket and pushed him hard on his chest, repeating “You are Jewish. I am going to kill you.” He then punched the victim several times on the head, shouting in Arabic and at one point saying “I am not going away until you are dead.”

Finally, the victim managed to run away by getting rid of his heavy coat and hat. The attacker revealed his knife and allegedly said “I will kill you now, you Jew,” making throat-cutting gestures.

“The delayed response of the police, despite the close proximity of a police station just up the road, is deeply concerning, and the result is that a man who apparently wants to kill Jews is now at liberty,” said Stephen Silverman, Director of Investigations and Enforcement at Campaign Against Antisemitism, adding that “The sad truth is that our nation’s capital is not nearly as safe as it should be for Jewish people who wish to celebrate a festival or, in this case, simply go about their daily lives. Unless the police and the justice system step up and ensure that antisemitic criminals face the full consequences of their despicable actions, this will not change.”

After the incident ended, the police were again called and finally responded, though they were only half a mile away all along. The victim reported the incident to the Community Security Trust (CST), a British charity whose purpose is to provide safety, security, and advice to the Jewish community in the United Kingdom.