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Antisemitism the shomrim
The Shomrim highlight Antisemitism in London

Antisemitism A Month long case study has revealed a shocking ‘tip of the iceberg’ of anti-Semitism suffered by the most visible Jews in Britain, the Charedi Jewish Community (commonly referred to as ‘Ultra-Orthodox Jews’.

Anti-Semitic incidents reported to Stamford Hill Shomrim in one month leading up to ‘National Hate Crime Awareness Week’.
This is the first time such figures were recorded. (There was no campaign to increase reporting, nor were there any major world events that would suggest an increase in anti-Semitism).

The Stamford Hill Jewish Community predominantly lives an area in London which covers approx. 2 square miles primarily in the Borough of Hackney and partly in the Borough of Haringey.

Example of some of the incidents (all of these incidents were unprovoked and visibly Jewish victims):

Verbal Abuse: A 55-year-old Jewish women was asked (on the Jewish New Year – Rosh Hashanah) in Hackney (N16), if she covered her hair on her head because Hitler had shaved it off, before the perpetrator made a Nazi Salute. The victim was in the middle of saying a prayer called ‘Tashlich’, this is done on the Jewish New Year, near a stream of water.

Threatening Violence: An 11-year-old boy was surrounded in Hackney (E5) and told to remove his skull cap; he was then threatened that he would be beaten up if he didn’t comply.

Common Assault: An 8-year-old boy was assaulted in Haringey (N15) near his own home, by a male who told him he was a “stupid Jew”, the child came running home crying.

Threatening Violence: Three Jewish females were chased in Hackney (N16), whilst the perpetrators shouted “the Jewish people are rich, horrible Jewish people, give us your money”. Needless to say, that the victims were terrified.

Common Assault: A 38-year-old man exited a Synagogue on Saturday evening in Stamford Hill, when a male randomly chucked off his religious Shabbos hat ‘Shtreimel’ (fur hat).

Verbal Abuse: A 28-year-old female boarded a bus with her two children, aged 6 months and 4 years old, when a suspect deliberately blocked her path, telling her “I’m not going to move for you, you Jewish people are selfish, you Jewish people are bad”

This is broken down to show you further information.

• 32 anti-Semitic incidents (on average 8 incidents a week).

• 27 (84.4%) of these incidents were Unprovoked, 5 (15.6%) had prior contact (i.e. road rage).

• 3 (9.4%) Assaults, 1 (3.1%) Criminal Damage, 8 (25%) Threat of Violence, 2 (6.2%) Threats to Kill, 18 (56.3%) Verbal Abuse.

• Average age of victim 29.5, with the youngest victim just 8 years old, and the eldest 57.

• 28 (87.5%) of the victims were Male, 4 (12.5%) were Female, all were visibly Jewish (Traditionally, Orthodox Men wear more visible/distinct clothing than Women, therefore more likely to become victims, as they are easily identifiable as Jews).

• 23 (71.9%) of these incidents took place in Hackney (14 in N16, 9 in E5), 3 (9.4%) of the incidents took place in Haringey, 4 (12.5%) of these incidents took place outside of Hackney and Haringey, and 2 (6.2%) incidents were online.

• 26 (81.2%) of the perpetrators were described as Male, 3 (9.4%) as Female, 3 (9.4%) Unknown.

• 23 (71.9%) of the perpetrators were described as Adults, 6 (18.7%) as Children (under 18), 3 (9.4%) Unknown.

• 7 (21.9%) of the perpetrators were described (by the victim) as White, 2 (6.2%) as Middle Eastern, 8 (25%) as Black, 11 (34.4%) as Asian, 1 (3.1%) as East Asian, 3 (9.4%) Unknown.

In the past month, Stamford Hill Shomrim supported all the victims whilst recoding all relevant details with the Police, and assisted with the arrest of a suspect who was subsequently charged with an anti-Semitic offence, and in the last five weeks Shomrim were directly involved with the convictions of three males in three separate anti-Semitic trials.

At the moment, Shomrim do not regularly log and record incidents in such detail due to lack of funding. Meaning that lots of reports are not recorded, especially when victims do not wish to report to Police directly. This is the first time such figures were recorded.

Recent Metropolitan Police figures show that on average 10 anti-Semitic hate crimes per month were recorded in Hackney and Haringey (includes areas outside Stamford Hill too).

The Home Secretary stated in the Government’s most recent ‘Action Against Hate’ publication (July 2016), that “Jewish people from the Charedi community are less likely than other sections of the Jewish community to report hate crimes to the authorities”.

President of Stamford Hill Shomrim – Rabbi Herschel Gluck OBE – commented : “It has long been said that anti-Semitism is underreported in the Charedi Jewish Community, which is the most visible segment of the Jewish Community, but these figures are nevertheless shocking, Even more so since this is only the tip of the iceberg. The Home Office must take urgent action to work directly with Stamford Hill Shomrim concerning the Charedi Jewish Community, a community with a distinct ethos, sensitivities and structures, to enhance and improve the reporting of hate crimes. Wishing everyone a good and sweet New Year”.

Gideon Falter, Chairman of Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “This meticulous month-long study by Shomrim shows the shocking extent to which members of the Jewish Charedi community, including very young children, are being singled out and targeted for racist assaults and abuse.

Under-reporting of antisemitism in the Charedi community is largely due to the perception that nothing will be done, and that is why the work of Shomrim is so important, working closely with victims and the police to ensure that incidents are investigated and prosecuted.

“Shomrim have been deservedly praised by the Metropolitan Police Service as the model for community engagement, yet their work is often frustrated by a failure to prosecute, and by light sentences when perpetrators are convicted.

This makes the Jewish community less likely to report antisemitic crimes, and emboldens the perpetrators who often repeat their crimes. We were pleased that our call and Shomrim’s call for the Home Office to engage directly with Shomrim was adopted in the Hate Crime Action Plan, and this must now happen.

Shomrim’s unique contribution to the fight against antisemitic crime is more potent and cost-effective than the police working alone, and so there is a strong case for Shomrim’s work to be extended with the help of a Home Office grant.

“Last year, our National Antisemitic Crime Audit revealed that antisemitic crime reached a record high with a 26% increase in crime and a 51% leap in antisemitic violence against Jews. There is no more visible target than the Jewish Charedi community and as the intensity of antisemitic crime rises, now is the time for decisive action to strengthen Shomrim and extend their work.”

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