PM's fury over 'despicable' hate attack on two Jewish men on eve of Holocaust Memorial day

27 January 2022, 14:21 | Updated: 27 January 2022, 17:12

Footage shows moment two men are assaulted in north London

By Will Taylor

Two Jewish men were violently attacked in North London on the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day as they locked up their shop.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned the attack, saying this evening it was a "terrible reminder" that anti-Semitism "remains a very real problem".

"I'm appalled by this despicable footage, and I thank police for making a swift arrest," he wrote on Twitter.

"This attack is a terrible reminder, on Holocaust Memorial Day, that such prejudice is not consigned to history, but remains a very real problem in society. We must stamp out antisemitism."

A teenager has been arrested on suspicion of actual bodily harm after both victims were taken to hospital with injuries.

One man suffered bruising and a fractured bone in his hand. The other was also bruised and received an eye injury.

It came the evening before the world remembers the atrocities of the Holocaust, which killed about six million Jews as the Nazis persecuted them across Europe.

Chief Superintendent Simon Crick, who leads policing in Enfield and Haringey, said: "On this most important day, this is an awful reminder that hate crime still exists. I know that Haringey residents will be upset by such a horrible attack and we won't stand for anyone in our community being targeted or hurt.

Read more: 'It's sad Brits aren't proud of Churchill': Israeli ambassador says UK history important

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"If you assault someone, you can expect us to do everything we can to investigate and find you.

"I've been in touch with members of the local Jewish community, and I'm providing additional patrols throughout the day to reassure the community. Please do speak to them if you have any concerns.

Two men were attacked on the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day
Two men were attacked on the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day. Picture: Shomrim

"I'd like to thank the members of the public who called us and asked us to come to the aid of these two gentlemen and [am] grateful for their help, which meant we could locate a suspect."

An 18-year-old was arrested in Fairview Road, off South Tottenham station, on suspicion of actual bodily harm. He remains in custody.

Shomrim, a neighbourhood watch group for Jewish communities, said it is supporting the victims, their families and the community.

"Shomrim volunteers then conducted quick time CCTV enquiries and together with their local knowledge tracked down the offender to a local residence," the group said in a statement.

["The Met's Haringey unit] were quick to arrest the individual and enquiries continue."

A number of Holocaust memorial days are planned for Thursday.

Earlier on Thursday, Tzipi Hotovely, the Israeli ambassador to the UK, spoke to LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast about antisemitism in the UK, including the education system.

"The British Government are doing all they can to fight it, to make sure people will be taken to court, for committing hate crimes," she said.

"But there are some things that are still so strange to me... and this is why I am so happy the education secretary is addressing problems like anti-Semitism on campuses.

"The fact that some Jewish students do not feel secure when they go to get their degrees, this is something that in every free society, we need to make sure everyone can go on campus and feel good about it."