After weeks of resisting calls to impose restrictions on the weekly anti-Israel marches coursing through London, this week the Metropolitan Police Service finally agreed that enough is enough, and ordered protesters not to pass through Whitehall.

Then, under pressure, the Met reversed its decision, deciding that enough is not, in fact, enough, and that the protesters could march down Whitehall after all.

So, among the other rhetoric and signage, a flag, popular with Islamists, once again passed through the UK’s seat of government.

This is a humiliation for the Met and its Commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, and serves as a reminder to the rest of us just how far our top police officers are willing to go to appease the mob.

To understand better the powers available to the Commissioner of the Met, the Mayor of London and the Home Secretary, watch this video here.

For one MP, enough is enough

The news this week that a senior MP and Government Minister is stepping down out of fear marks a dark time for democracy and the rule of law in Britain.

While the motivation behind the recent arson attack on Mike Freer’s constituency office is not yet clear, what is known is that the MP, who represents one of the country’s largest Jewish communities, has long been violently targeted by Islamist radicals and other extremists over his views on matters of Jewish interest, so much so that he has now announced his retirement, observing that “there is an underlying antisemitic part of the attacks.”

Regardless of political views, it should be deeply alarming to all people who care about our democracy that such fears are not only valid but can reach the point of driving elected MPs like Mr Freer out of public service.

We wish to thank Mr Freer for his longstanding and continuing support for the Jewish community, the fight against antisemitism, and Campaign Against Antisemitism, of which he has served as an Honorary Patron.

Alleged knife attack in Golders Green

Mike Freer’s announcement came just days after an alleged knife attack in his constituency.

On Monday, brave staff members of a kosher supermarket in Golders Green defended themselves against a man said to be wielding a knife in an alleged antisemitic incident.

We spoke with a member of staff involved, who told us that the suspect – appearing from footage to be a male dressed in a grey hoodie and grey tracksuit bottoms – entered the shop demanding to know the staff’s feelings on what was happening “in Palestine”.

One staff member refused to engage, explaining that he did not wish to discuss politics. He and another staff member then escorted the suspect out of the shop.

The suspect, shortly after, allegedly attempted to grab at one of the staff members’ neck. Defending himself with Krav Maga moves he remembered learning as a youth, the staff member tried to restrain him before hearing people around him yell “knife, knife”.

At this point, the staff member quickly backed away, and the suspect began moving towards him.

Thinking quickly, he grabbed a nearby shopping trolley, pushing it into the body of the suspect in order to create distance.

The staff member told us that he retreated into the shop, where the suspect then followed, before leaving and making his way across the road into a building.

He is alleged to have then left that building approximately five minutes later in a change of clothes, apparently wearing traditional Muslim garb, and began walking up the road.

One of the staff members then ran ahead of him so that he could view his face to confirm that this was the same man from minutes earlier.

Shortly thereafter, the suspect was apprehended by Shomrim North West London and the Metropolitan Police, and arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon, criminal damage and racially-aggravated affray.

He was then taken into custody, and has been charged.

We are continuing to support the victims and follow the matter closely.

Roger Waters dropped by record label following CAA exposé

It has been revealed that the music rights company BMG dropped the controversial rockstar Roger Waters shortly after we published our exposé on the musician, where we revealed that Mr Waters wanted to put “Dirty k***” on an inflatable pig and impersonated a Holocaust victim, among other allegations.

The decision, taken by BMG in the closing months of last year, was not accompanied by an explanation at the time.

The company, which is based in Germany, signed a publishing agreement with Mr Waters in 2016 and was scheduled to release a newly recorded version of Pink Floyd’s 1973 album Dark Side of the Moon last year, but withdrew and the re-recording was instead released by the UK-based record label Cooking Vinyl.

The split is reported to be unusual for a major publishing deal, and comes as Mr Waters’ reputation is in tatters following the release of our documentary. You can watch the film here.

The full documentary can be viewed at antisemitism.org/rogerwaters.

Vincent Reynouard to be extradited to France after action by CAA

Vincent Reynouard, a French Holocaust-denier, will be extradited from the UK after his application for leave to appeal was rejected.

Mr Reynouard, 54, a convicted Holocaust-denier, was awaiting a decision on his appeal after a court in Scotland granted an extradition request from France. Mr Reynouard was a fugitive in the UK who was caught following appeals from Campaign Against Antisemitism and our Honorary Patron, Lord Austin.

Mr Reynouard is a despicable Holocaust-denier who has repeatedly been convicted by French courts. For him to have evaded justice, only to settle in the UK as a private tutor teaching children, is intolerable, which is why we worked with French Jewish organisations to secure his extradition so that he faces the consequences of his abhorrent incitement.

We are delighted that those efforts have borne fruit, with the court granting the request to extradite Mr Reynouard and refusing his application for permission to appeal, so that he can face justice in France. This is not only the right judgement for the Jewish community, but also for the justice system. The UK cannot become a haven for those seeking to evade justice elsewhere. For antisemites in particular, the message is clear: you are not welcome in Britain.

Around the world, International Holocaust Memorial Day was marked with dignity and respect. But not everywhere.

Some, like Labour MP Kate Osamor, used the occasion to imply in a message to constituents that what is happening in Gaza is comparable to the Holocaust and, by strong implication, that Israel acts like the Nazis, a breach of the International Definition of Antisemitism.

Her apology rang hollow, as if she was unaware of the meaning of her own remarks. Clearly, her understanding of antisemitism is deficient and not in accordance with that of her Party, which has adopted the Definition.

We have called on the Labour Party to suspend her, and she must be required to undertake antisemitism training by a reputable provider.

Meanwhile, at anti-Israel demonstrations in the UK, protesters desecrated the solemnity of the day, not only by equating Israel to Nazis as well, but also in providing a masterclass in how a phenomenon like Holocaust-denial begins, as they cast doubt on, played down or outright denied the Hamas atrocities of 7th October.

Leicester Square attack

Not only are the police failing to police the weekly anti-Israel demonstrations adequately, but they are also failing individual Jews under attack.

Last weekend, in the early hours of the morning, three Jews were physically assaulted by ten men in Leicester Square, resulting in serious injuries. Incredibly, not a single bystanders assisted.

Although the victims called the police while the attack was underway, and notwithstanding that it was taking place in the heart of London, police officers only showed up after half an hour, by which time the perpetrators had fled the scene.

The Metropolitan Police must identify and arrest the attackers. The victims are also calling on the police to apologise for failing them when they needed them most.

Watch the victims speak out here.

“Generation hate”: frightening new polling published

Campaign Against Antisemitism commissioned King’s College London to survey British adults’ attitudes towards Jews, using YouGov.

The polling has revealed worrying levels of anti-Jewish prejudice among the British public, with particularly frightening rates among young people aged between 18 and 24.

Published in the week of Holocaust Memorial Day, the polling raises serious questions about whether lessons about the antisemitism that motivated the Nazis have really been learned by British young adults.

  • A quarter of British people over 64 believe that Israel treats the Palestinians like the Nazis treated the Jews. Among 18-24 year olds, it is over a third.
  • Almost one fifth of the British public believes that Israel can get away with anything because its supporters control the media. Among 18-24 year olds, it is more than a quarter.
  • Compared to the general population (one in twenty), double the proportion of 18-24s (almost one in ten) do not believe that Jewish people are just as loyal to Britain as other British people.
  • Compared to the general population, more than double the proportion of 18-24 year olds are not as open to having Jewish friends as they are to having friends from other sections of British society.
  • While almost one fifth of the British public believes that Israel and its supporters are a bad influence on our democracy, that rises to over one quarter of 18-24 year olds.
  • 7% of Britons do not believe that Israel is right to defend itself against those who want to destroy it. That figure doubles to 14% of 18-24 year olds.
  • 14% of British people are not comfortable spending time with people who openly support Israel. Among 18-24 year olds, that figure rises to 21% – more than one fifth of the young population.
  • More than one in ten young Britons do not believe that Israel has a right to exist as a homeland for the Jewish people.
  • More than one in ten 18-24 year olds believe that Jewish people talk about the Holocaust just to further their political agenda.

Other findings from the survey:

  • More than one in ten British people believe that Jewish people chase money more than other people do.
  • Only three quarters of British people believe that Jewish people can be trusted just as much as other British people in business.
  • More than one in ten Britons believe that, compared to other groups, Jewish people have too much power in the media.

The rhetoric that we are seeing online, on television and on our streets is radicalising the British public, but it is the rates of antisemitism that we have discovered among 18-24 year olds that are most frightening. This is generation hate.

On the occasion of Holocaust Memorial Day, our country needs an urgent rethink about how we teach about antisemitism. If young people cannot see the relationship between the genocidal antisemitism of the Nazis and the genocidal antisemitism of Hamas, and, as a society, we refuse to talk about how our attitudes towards Israel and its supporters are influenced by antisemitic prejudice, then we are clearly not talking about antisemitism properly.

Our education is failing the next generation, and our society is suffering as a result. It is British Jews who are paying the price.

The YouGov survey was designed and analysed by experts at KCL on behalf of Campaign Against Antisemitism. Total sample size was 2,084 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 8th-11th December 2023 by YouGov plc. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+). The full results, background information and methodology can be found here.

This weekend saw the memory of the Holocaust appropriated to abuse the Jewish community. What would the British soldiers who liberated the Nazi death camps make of Britain today?

A man has been charged with a hate crime after he allegedly assaulted a Jewish man at a subway station.

On Saturday, a Jewish man, who was walking with his son, was first approached by a 61-year-old man, at Storkower Strasse subway station in the Prenzlauer-Berg district of Berlin. The suspect allegedly spoke to the victim in a “disrespectful manner”, before the victim and his son ignored him and continued on their route. 

When they returned to the same station in the afternoon, however, they encountered the same man, who allegedly punched the victim in the neck and said an antisemitic insult. 

Shortly after, the suspect was found by police, who charged him with a hate crime. It is understood that the man was determined to be inebriated at the time of the arrest, following the administration of a breathalyser test. 

Last week, an investigation was announced into a suspected arson attack on a Holocaust street library box in Berlin. 

Campaign Against Antisemitism reports on news and incidents relating to antisemitism in Germany, which have increased considerably. 

Multiple antisemitic hate crimes have been reported in Jewish neighbourhoods in Brooklyn, New York.

On 16th August, two men on a motorbike snatched a kippah from a Jewish man’s head in the heavily-Jewish neighbourhood of Borough Park. Police are attempting to identify the two suspects through CCTV footage.

The next day, a suspect riding a Citi Bike slapped a 43-year-old man who was wearing identifiably Jewish clothing on Wallabout Street in Williamsburg. Later that day, on the same street, a Jewish woman was slapped in the head. 

South Williamsburg is a heavily Jewish area, with a large Hasidic community. 

New York has seen multiple antisemitic incidents over the past few months, including a local synagogue vandalised with graffiti and a separate incident where swastikas were drawn in a park in nearby Long Island.

Campaign Against Antisemitism reports on news and incidents relating to antisemitism throughout the United States.

A judge has described Abdullah Qureshi’s crimes as “terrible events for the entire Jewish community” before handing down his sentence in relation to racially aggravated assaults that Mr Qureshi committed against religious Jews two years ago.

On 7th April 2022, Mr Qureshi, 30, from Dewsbury in West Yorkshire, pleaded guilty at Thames Magistrates’ Court to two counts of assault by beating and one count of grievous bodily harm with intent. The charges related to a series of assaults on 18th August 2021 in Stamford Hill in which five religious Jews in the North London neighbourhood were violently attacked.

In one incident at 18:41 on the day of the attacks, an Orthodox Jewish man was struck in the face with what appeared to be a bottle. In another at 19:10, a child was slapped on the back of the head, and in yet another at 20:30, a 64-year-old victim was struck and left unconscious on the ground, suffering facial injuries and a broken ankle. Two further incidents were also alleged.

The incidents received significant media attention at the time, and the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, condemned “this appalling attack,” adding: “Let me be clear, racist abuse and hate crime, including antisemitism, have absolutely no place in our city.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism then revealed that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had dropped the racially/religiously aggravated element of those charges as part of a plea deal with Mr Qureshi. After we, Shomrim, CST and other communal organisations made representations to the CPS, it agreed to reinstate the aggravated elements, but Mr Qureshi appeared in court to resist the reinstatement of the aggravated element. In August last year, Stratford Magistrates’ Court agreed to reinstate the racially/religiously aggravated element to the charges against Mr Qureshi, and, at a further hearing at Thames Magistrates’ Court, he pleaded not guilty. In November 2022, Mr Qureshi was found guilty of the reinstated racially/religiously aggravated charges that the CPS initially dropped, before intervention by Campaign Against Antisemitism and other groups.

In December, Mr Qureshi was expected to be sentenced, but this was postponed following concerns surrounding his mental health. The court heard that Mr Qureshi suffered from anxiety and depression and that he had been hearing “internal voices” which ordered him to carry out the attacks. In February of this year, His Honour Judge Noel Lucas QC ordered an interim hospital order under Section 38 of the Mental Health Act 1983. Such an order is given when a person has been convicted but a court has been advised by doctors that the person has a mental health issue that requires hospital treatment before sentencing should occur. 

On 29th June, Mr Qureshi appeared at Wood Green Crown Court, where the court heard the first of two medical reports on his condition, with a view to hearing the second in August.

Today, Mr Qureshi appeared at the same court via video link. He was asked if he wanted representation and declined, as he has done on previous occasions.

Also appearing by video from elsewhere was Dr Purvesh Madhani, who reported that he and a second doctor had considered sentencing options under the law and concluded that a prison sentence would not be appropriate in view of Mr Qureshi’s mental illness. Instead, they recommended an order under section 37 of the Mental Health Act order, along with a section 41 restriction. Dr Madhani said that “I have come to the conclusion he has symptoms…[namely] delusions and hallucinations that make me feel that a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia [is appropriate].”

Mr Qureshi argued against the s.41 restriction on the basis that he had not reoffended since the original incidents (albeit that much of that time has been spent in hospital). Dr Madhani accepted this but also noted that on one occasion Mr Qureshi had to “receive treatment without your consent”. The doctor also observed that Mr Qureshi does not understand the link between his mental health issues and the crimes that he committed.

Nicki Roberson, appearing via video link for the CPS, revealed that, at the time of Mr Qureshi’s arrest, his father expressed concerns about his mental health. She also read out victim statements. One victim not only suffered trauma himself from the assaults at the hands of Mr Qureshi, but his four eldest children also had to attend therapy for a year. Another victim – a fourteen-year-old who cannot be identified – said in his victim statement that “I felt scared…I said nothing as I was shocked” and that “this must not happen to anyone.” Yet another victim related in his statement that he had been punched by Mr Qureshi in his right ear “with tremendous power” and his ear was “burning for months”, leaving him in “excruciating” pain. He is still “jumpy at the slightest noise” and his GP has diagnosed him with PTSD and referred him to a specialist. One of the victims suffered financial loss due to being unable to work for a period.

It also emerged that Mr Qureshi has two previous convictions, including one under the Public Order Act in relation to violence outside a nightclub in Swansea City Centre. Once locked in a prison cell, he had also grabbed the throat of a police officer.

Ms Roberson described Mr Qureshi’s attacks in Stamford Hill as having involved a “significant degree of planning” and argued that the crimes possessed a “high level of religious aggravation”. She sought a restraining order for an indefinite period for the victims, barring Mr Qureshi from contacting them by any means, prohibiting him from coming within 100 metres of them, and also banning him from the London Borough of Hackney.

Mr Qureshi denied travelling from his home in Yorkshire just to commit the offences, insisting that “there was no planning.” He also expressed contrition several times, saying. “I am deeply sorry for any harm that I have caused” and “My actions were totally unacceptable.” However, he also claimed that “I was drunk and I was angry.”

Judge Kalyani Kaul KC observed that there has been widespread coverage of the attacks in the Jewish media, and that this must have caused “a deep sense of shock and insecurity” for the Jewish community. She said that “these sorts of attacks make waves” that are ultimately greater than the attacks themselves, describing the crimes as “terrible events for the entire Jewish community”. The Jewish community, she said, “should not be subject to discrimination or hurt,” adding that attacks such as these “encourage divisiveness…[and] mistrust…from Jewish people to wider society”. She declared that these attacks affect not only the Jewish community “but all of us”.

She noted of one of the victims that “his life has been changed forever, both in terms of his physical health and how he conducts his life” and, with regard to another victim, that it was “only by the good grace of G-d” that he was not injured further. The judge was also not persuaded by Mr Qureshi’s contrition, concluding that “I’m not convinced you fully take responsibility,” and rejected his drunkenness defence: “[it was not] simply a question of being drunk, hitting out and not really knowing what you’ve done.”

Judge Kaul declared that she would have liked to issue a prison sentence but was unable to under law. “If it had been a sentence I could pass,” she said, it would have been in the region of five years’ custody, but “I’m not passing that sentence because I can’t.” Instead, she ruled that “I am satisfied you are suffering from a mental disorder” specifically “paranoid schizophrenia”, and issued orders under section 37 with a section 41 restriction, because “there is a great risk you will commit further offences if you are not detained.” She also granted the restraining order for a period of ten years.

Under this hospital order, Mr Qureshi will be sent to hospital and can only be discharged with the consent of the Justice Secretary.

We are grateful to Nicki Roberson and District Crown Prosecutor Varinder Hayre for helping to bring about today’s outcome.

Varinder Hayre, District Crown Prosecutor and London North’s Hate Crime Lead, said: “Qureshi, who travelled from West Yorkshire, carried out a series of antisemitic attacks on the Jewish community. The only thing which connected his victims was their Jewish faith. Hatred of any kind has no place in society. This sentence should serve as a strong deterrent to those thinking of committing similar crimes.

“I would like to thank the three victims for coming forward and supporting the prosecution. I am very pleased that we have achieved justice for the victims who were badly affected by this unprovoked, antisemitic, religiously aggravated hate crime. Indeed, no one in our society should be targeted because of who they are or what they do. Hate crimes – including antisemitism – have a corrosive effect on society. We will always prosecute where there is sufficient evidence to do so.”

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “We are very satisfied that Abdullah Qureshi has finally been sentenced for crimes committed almost two years ago. Justice requires perseverance, and we worked to help ensure that Mr Qureshi was identified and caught, the correct charges were brought against him, he was prosecuted to the full extent of the law, and he was sentenced appropriately. This sentence helps to redress the serious harm caused to his victims by these awful crimes.

“Today’s sentence also vindicates efforts made by Campaign Against Antisemitism, Shomrim, CST and others to pressure the Crown Prosecution Service into reinstating the aggravated charges after they were initially dropped. The CPS claimed that it did not have sufficient evidence to make out the antisemitic element of the crimes, but we disagreed and the court found that we were right to do so. We are grateful to the CPS for making the case forcefully since then and bringing about this outcome.

“Today a judge has robustly reiterated the impact of these abominable crimes both on the victims and on the Jewish community more widely. The CPS must recognise that victims of antisemitic crimes cannot be made to accept deficient legal outcomes, and perpetrators are on notice that we will not stop until Jewish victims have justice.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s analysis of Home Office statistics shows that an average of over five hate crimes are directed at Jews every single day in England and Wales, with Jews more than five times likelier to be targets of hate crimes than any other faith group.

26 synagogues in the United States have been evacuated after receiving bomb threats and hoax calls.

The calls were made to synagogues across twelve different states over the course of four weekends, it is understood. It is believed that the incidents are part of a coordinated effort by a single group of online trolls. 

One of the synagogues targeted, Beth Torah Jewish Temple in Fremont, California, received a bomb threat at around 20:00 last Friday and had to evacuate its premises. Following the evacuation, police searched the building but found no suspicious items or people.

Then, on Saturday, congregants of Temple Beth Tikvah, a synagogue in Fullerton, also in California, were forced to evacuate the synagogue after a bomb threat was made at around midday. The caller reportedly said that the bomb would detonate twenty minutes after the call.

The moment that the leaders of the prayer service received news of the call was captured on a livestream of the Shabbat service that was taking place at the time.

Following the evacuation, police found no explosive devices on the premises. 

Of the call, the synagogue’s Rabbi, Mati Kirschenbaum, said: “Sadly, this is something that many temples, many Jewish houses of worship…have to live with.”

The ADL has also reported that two of its offices were targeted in similar attacks. 

Campaign Against Antisemitism reports on news and incidents relating to antisemitism throughout the United States.

Image credit: Google

German authorities are investigating the possibility of an antisemitic motive after an Israeli man was attacked by three men in Berlin. 

The victim, a nineteen-year-old Israeli tourist, told police that he was walking with an eighteen-year-old woman whilst talking on the phone in Hebrew. 

A car then stopped next to the victim. Three men came out of the car and began speaking to the victim in German, which he did not understand. 

It is claimed that the men proceeded to attack the victim, and allegedly kicked and beat him before they got back into the vehicle and drove away.

The victim contacted the local authorities once he had arrived at the hospital. 

Campaign Against Antisemitism reports on news and incidents relating to antisemitism in Germany, which have increased considerably.

Police shot a man after he opened fire with a handgun outside Margolin Hebrew Academy in Memphis, Tennessee. 

The man reportedly tried to enter the school’s premises but was unable to do so due to the double security doors.

He then fled the scene in a pick-up truck, which was later located with the suspect inside the vehicle by local law enforcement. 

When approached by police, the armed man is understood to have gotten out of the truck. Police then shot at the suspect and wounded him before he was taken to hospital. 

Of the failed attack, Dan Crow, Assistant Police Chief of The Memphis Police Department, said: “Thankfully, that school had a great safety procedure and process in place and avoided anyone being harmed or injured at that scene.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism reports on news and incidents relating to antisemitism throughout the United States.

Image credit: Google

A Hasidic man was reportedly asked if he is Jewish before being stabbed in a violent Brooklyn attack.

The victim, a Chabad Hasid dressed in religious garb visiting from Israel, was walking through the heavily-Jewish neighbourhood of Crown Heights in New York City on Shabbat morning at 02:00, when, according to a police report, he was approached by two men who asked if he was Jewish.

The two men then allegedly stabbed the victim in the arm with a screwdriver, leaving him with a small puncture wound. He returned home and called medics who took him to hospital, where his condition was described as stable, and he was later released.

Yaacov Behrman, a representative of Chabad Lubavitch Headquarters in Crown Heights, said: “On Friday night, around 2am, a visiting student from Israel was stabbed in the arm with what appears to be a screwdriver. The victim informed me that he was briefly hospitalised. The attack was carried out by two males.” He added that the attack “is currently being investigated as a hate crime. According to the victim, he was questioned about his Jewish identity. Despite being visibly traumatised, the victim expressed gratitude for not having sustained more severe injuries. This incident is deeply concerning, and we have full confidence in the NYPD’s ability to conduct a thorough investigation and apprehend the perpetrators.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism reports on news and incidents relating to antisemitism throughout the United States.