update deskAntisemitism

London police arrest man accused of threatening Jews with a knife

"This incident clearly did not take place in a vacuum," said Campaign Against Antisemitism. "We have repeatedly warned of the dangers of hatred going almost unchecked on the streets of London."

London Metropolitan Police officers. Credit: Ian Stewart/Shutterstock.
London Metropolitan Police officers. Credit: Ian Stewart/Shutterstock.

London’s Metropolitan Police arrested a 34-year-old man, who allegedly displayed a knife and threatened people outside a kosher supermarket in Golders Green on Monday afternoon.

The man “was arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon, criminal damage and racially aggravated affray,” the police department wrote. “He was taken into custody.”

The police, which was aided in the arrest by the Jewish community security group Shomrim, added that it is not investigating the incident as terror-related.

The incident, which was captured on video that circulated widely on social media, occurred shortly after 1:30 p.m. in the heavily Jewish neighborhood. It comes amid weeks of anti-Israel protests, including some that have gotten violent, in the city.

The nonprofit Campaign Against Antisemitism posted that it had been told “that a man who lives near the kosher supermarket entered the premises and demanded that staff answer his questions about events ‘in Palestine.’ The staff responded that they did not wish to ‘talk about politics,’ at which point the man allegedly brandished a knife.”

In video footage, the suspect, clad in a gray hoodie and black sweatpants, displays a blue kitchen knife, at times lunging at others. One person tells him to leave. Another tries to push him away with a shopping cart.

A second video appears to show the same person—now wearing a white
skullcap—being arrested outside of a residence.

“At this point, the man had entered a building and emerged having attempted to change his appearance and donned traditional Muslim garb at which point he was apprehended,” according to the Campaign Against Antisemitism. “This incident clearly did not take place in a vacuum. We have repeatedly warned of the dangers of hatred going almost unchecked on the streets of London.”

The European Jewish Congress wrote that it is “horrified by the news of an individual wielding a knife in a kosher store.” It added that the man “shouted antisemitic abuse, chased some individuals and threatened to stab them.”

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