London’s busiest shopping street bore witness to what has been described as “disturbing” and “disgusting” antisemitic abuse of Jewish teens celebrating Hannukah this week, prompting messages of condemnation from British political leaders.
A one-minute video shared by the Jewish Chronicle showing a group of men spitting, shouting, and even striking with removed shoes — a sign of immense disrespect in some cultures — a bus has been met with condemnation. The faith-interest paper reported the bus was “full” of Jewish teenagers out in London enjoying the first night of Hanukkah on Oxford Street, a central London spot synonymous with high-end retail and a top spot for tourists to the city:
Video has emerged of a group of men spitting at a bus full of Jewish teenagers in Oxford Street where the group were celebrating the first night of Chanukah. pic.twitter.com/orOrA9kJEu
— The Jewish Chronicle (@JewishChron) December 1, 2021
Police are investigating the alleged attack as a hate crime, the BBC reports, but no arrests have yet been made. The broadcaster quoted the eye-witness testimony of Tamara Cohen, who was on the bus and described the privately hired vehicle as being stuck in traffic and unable to get away as the abuse took place.
She was reported to have said: “We wanted to leave but couldn’t because of the traffic. That’s when they came up to the bus and started banging on the bus with their shoes, swearing and shouting at us and making gestures.”
Cohen also claimed in her remarks to the BBC that the police only started taking investigation of the incident seriously after the video went viral online. The events in the video, which are claimed to have taken place on the 29th of November, have led to considerable comment and condemnation among political figures in the United Kingdom, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Labour opposition’s most prominent elected figure, London mayor Sadiq Khan.
London freesheet the Evening Standard reports Prime Minister Johnson as remarking of the “disturbing” footage that “Racism of any kind will never be tolerated in our society and we will continue to do all we can to root it out”. London mayor Sadiq Khan said that “Antisemitism has no place whatsoever in society and I utterly condemn these disgusting acts. No one should have to experience this” in a social media post, and urged anyone with information to come forward to police.
Unfortunately, antisemitism is an increasingly familiar part of life in multicultural London, with incidents and attacks rising year-on-year. Indeed, Breitbart London has previously reported that recorded attacks are now at their highest levels since the 1980s.
The Community Security Trust said in June that the rise in attacks was influenced by antisemitic attitudes towards Israel and the Gaza conflict, calling the reaction in Britain “utterly predictable and completely disgraceful.”
Pro-Palestinian Convoy Drives Through London, Protester Yells ‘F*** the Jews’, ‘Rape Their Daughters’ https://t.co/Dbmz6PeUXF
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 16, 2021