The National Jewish Assembly vehemently condemns the abhorrent antisemitic attack that unfolded today at a kosher supermarket in London. This incident is a chilling testament to the surging wave of antisemitism that has found fertile ground on the streets of London, and we are both outraged and deeply concerned.
In this distressing episode, a man entered the kosher supermarket and arrogantly demanded that the staff engage in discussions about the Israel-Hamas war. When the staff, rightfully disinterested in engaging in political debates at their workplace, refused to be drawn into his provocations, the individual allegedly pulled out a knife and tried to stab the staff. Fortunately, the swift response of the police and Shomrim NW London prevented any physical harm, and the suspect was taken into custody.
This incident did not occur in isolation. It transpired in an environment where antisemitism has not only been tolerated but, in some instances, tacitly endorsed. Pro-Palestine protests, marred by blatantly antisemitic rhetoric and imagery, have been permitted to proceed unchallenged. Graffiti, stickers, and inflammatory marches that promote hostility towards Jews have become an all-too-familiar sight on London’s streets. Furthermore, the Metropolitan Police Service’s inexplicable allowance of pro-Palestine vehicle convoys to traverse Jewish neighbourhoods, sowing an atmosphere of intimidation and fear, is reprehensible.
Moreover, we cannot overlook the fact that individuals with connections to antisemitic hate preachers have been given platforms within registered charities, including mosques, to disseminate their venomous rhetoric against Jews. The failure of counter-terrorism police and the Charities Commission to take resolute action against these purveyors of hate is a grave dereliction of duty.
We demand immediate and unyielding action from the UK government to combat antisemitism in all its forms. The Jewish community in the UK deserves nothing less than unwavering protection. It is high time that the government confronts the underlying causes of this rise in antisemitism, including the transformation of pro-Palestine demonstrations into platforms for hatred and violence.