At least two Jewish homes in Borehamwood have seen their mezuzahs vandalised in heinous antisemitic attacks.
Police are investigating the incidents, which took place at two next-door houses in the heavily-Jewish Hertfordshire neighbourhood as racially-motivated crimes.
One mezuzah was wrenched from the doorframe while next door the mezuzah was “maliciously” removed and the parchment trodden into the ground. The families were reportedly left “petrified”.
One of the victims reportedly said: “”At about 5pm yesterday, I picked up a package from Amazon and then saw something on the ground. I realised it was my mezuzah, lying on the floor broken. The top had been opened and the parchment had been taken out, scrunched up and then trodden into the mud. It had been deliberately sabotaged. That’s what really upset me, the maliciousness of the act. We are the only two Jewish families in this section of our road, which is a beautiful, multicultural neighbourhood. I got such a shock. We’ve had that mezuzah for years. My son is now 18 and we’ve had it all his life, so it’s very special to us. I can’t get that image out of my head of seeing it scrunched up and trodden into the ground. In all my life I’ve never seen anything like this.”
She added: “It’s had a terrible effect. My son and I couldn’t sleep last night and I’ve been throwing up. I think I went into shock.”
Her neighbour, also a victim, said: “It’s clearly malicious. You don’t want to believe it’s a hate crime, but that’s exactly what it is.” She added: “My son, who is at secondary school, doesn’t want to walk by himself, while my daughter, who is at primary school, knows someone has targeted her house. It’s not nice at all.”
In a statement, Hertsmere Police said: “I would like to make it clear to the local Jewish community that we will not tolerate antisemitism. Please be reassured that thorough enquiries are being carried out to find those responsible and get justice. We have currently got extra patrols in place across Hertsmere; please don’t be afraid to approach us with any concerns when you see us out and about. I would also like to reassure you that we have reported these incidents centrally so that it can feed into the wider intelligence picture across the UK. The victims are understandably shaken by what has happened and we will be putting them in touch with a specially trained hate crime officer in case they want extra support.”
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “This is a heinous antisemitic crime that targets Jewish houses on their doorsteps and is designed to signal to Jewish families that they are unsafe even in their own homes. It is particularly terrifying at a time of skyrocketing antisemitism on our streets. We are grateful to the Hertsmere Police for their strong stance and support for the local community, which broadcasts the message that the authorities stand with local Jewish residents against such attacks. The criminals behind this vandalism must be caught and face the full force of the law.”
There are also reports that hostile signs are being affixed to the front doors of Jewish flats inside apartment blocks in Stamford Hill. These incidents come just days after antisemitic graffiti was found in the common parts of an apartment block in the same area.
If you have any more information, please contact the police on 101, quoting reference numbers 41/36556/21 and 41/36605/21.
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.