The London Assembly has unanimously passed a motion calling on the Mayor, Sadiq Khan, and the Metropolitan Police to commission and publish a strategy for tackling antisemitism in London.
The motion comes following numerous antisemitic incidents in the capital, including the beating of patrons of a kosher restaurant and an assault on a rabbi, harassment of Jews on the street, the hacking of the social media account of a prominent Jewish charity, incidents at hospitals targeting Jewish patients and staff, and a Jewish school directing pupils to conceal clothing that may identify them as Jewish, to name but a few, as well asa convoy of cars that drove down the Finchley Road shouting “F*** the Jews…rape their daughters” through a megaphone.
In some incidents, police officers appeared to stand by as possible hate crimes were being committed.
The motion, which was passed yesterday, was proposed by Greater London Authority Conservatives Leader, Susan Hall. Ms Hall said: “It’s no surprise many Jewish Londoners feel let down by our city’s response to the recent horrific scenes of antisemitism on our streets. Something has clearly gone wrong when mobs parading on our streets, and even a convoy of vehicles driving through a Jewish community, can freely broadcast their hateful, disgusting and violent views. Worryingly, while antisemitism on London’s streets went unchecked, a police officer chose to agree publicly and shout the protest’s political message.
“The officer’s misguided action not only undermines the force’s impartiality but the Jewish community’s faith in the police. This cannot happen again. Condemnation of antisemitism alone won’t make London any safer. We need strong action to root it out. In the future, there must be a swifter police response with robust police action to keep Jewish Londoners safe. We cannot allow a repeat of the antisemitic demonstrations and displays we have seen recently in London. I hope the Mayor and the Metropolitan Police listen and act on the recommendations the London Assembly have made today.”
Labour Assembly members added a disclaimer amendment that “ultimately the power to ban protests lies solely with the Home Secretary, who should carefully scrutinise future requests for demonstrations to ensure a zero-tolerance approach against any antisemitic speech or imagery,” as well as an amendment congratulating the Mayor on his recent re-election.
After the passage of the amendments, Labour also backed the motion.
Labour’s Unmesh Desai said:” “We must all take a stand against antisemitism and some of the appalling scenes we have seen in London recently, which have left Jewish Londoners to feel insecure, unsafe and under attack. I have seen and been sent clips of incidents of the marches in Central London, with hard antisemitic statements being made. Sadly, the Met was standing by and saying nothing, and doing nothing.
“I understand that sometimes it is better for the Met to act afterwards and gather evidence, but this does send out the wrong signal, that they are scared to act, that they are losing control of the streets of London and pandering to the politically correct lobby. The appalling antisemitic attacks we saw on the Rabbi in Redbridge, and other antisemitic incidents need to be condemned unequivocally, no ifs and no buts.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s analysis of Home Office statistics shows that an average of over three hate crimes are directed at Jews every single day in England and Wales, with Jews almost four times more likely to be targets of hate crimes than any other faith group.