newsIsrael at War

Antisemitic hate crimes surge in London amid Israel-Hamas war

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has called for a ceasefire, drawing push back from Jewish leaders.

Anti-Israel andpro-Palestinian demonstrators march through central London in support of the Hamas terrorist group, Oct. 14, 2023. Credit: Andy Soloman/Shutterstock
Anti-Israel andpro-Palestinian demonstrators march through central London in support of the Hamas terrorist group, Oct. 14, 2023. Credit: Andy Soloman/Shutterstock

The Metropolitan Police Service has reported a startling surge in antisemitic hate crimes in London, with incidents increasing by 1,353% since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7.

There were 218 anti-Jewish incidents in London between Oct. 1 and 18 of this year, compared to 15 during the same span in 2022, per police. There was also a 140% increase in anti-Muslim crimes during that time span: 101 compared to 42, according to the police.

Police said that 21 people were arrested in connection with these hate crimes during that period last month.

One man who was arrested in the city’s Camden neighborhood was apprehended on suspicion of defacing posters depicting Israeli hostages in Gaza. Another man was arrested for Islamophobic graffiti at bus stops in New Malden and Raynes Park, in southern London.

Despite heightened security measures and increased police patrols, including visits to 445 faith schools and 1,930 places of worship, hate crimes continue to surge across the capital.

Sadiq Khan, the London mayor, recently met with Muslim and Jewish faith leaders, law enforcement officials and community groups to address the ongoing crisis. (On Nov. 3, the mayor visited a Holocaust library that “was the target of an unacceptable hate crime” that week.)

Khan has called for a ceasefire in Gaza, drawing pushback from Jewish leaders.

“I know how the conflict in Gaza and Israel is having a direct impact on London and Londoners,” Khan wrote on Oct. 20. “Increasing cases of abhorrent antisemitism and Islamophobia seen in the capital show how important it is for us to be united against hate.”

But some Jewish leaders, including Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, have pushed back against the Labour politician for urging a ceasefire. Mirvis reportedly told Khan that “a ceasefire now would be an irresponsible stepping stone to yet more Hamas terrorist brutality.”

Over the weekend, an anti-Israel rally attracted some 30,000 people to central London. It marks the fourth weekend since the Oct. 7 attack that such large-scale pro-Palestine protests have been arranged in the British capital.

Police told the BBC that 29 attendees were arrested on suspicion of public-order offenses, racially motivated crimes and assaulting police officers. “The force said fireworks were thrown at officers and a pamphlet reported to support Hamas was on sale,” according to the BBC.

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