Anti-Semitic hate soars in London as police vow to stop 'celebrations of terrorism or death'

13 October 2023, 12:57 | Updated: 13 October 2023, 14:36

Police say anti-Semitic incidents have spiked
Police say anti-Semitic incidents have spiked. Picture: Alamy/Social media

By Will Taylor

Anti-Semitism in London has spiked dramatically since the start of the Israel-Hamas war as police warned Jewish people in the capital are "genuinely scared".

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Police said they have come across cases of German military music being played outside synagogues and people laughing at the killings as incidents rose 650% from last year.

Rishi Sunak described the incidents as "disgusting".

More officers are being pulled in to patrol a pro-Palestine protest planned for the capital on Saturday, which thousands are expected to join.

The Metropolitan Police said it will arrest anyone who flies the flag of Hamas, which is banned in the UK as a terrorist group, and warned that a person could be arrested if they are inciting hatred while holding a Palestinian flag.

However, the force said waving a flag in its own right is not an offence. More guidance on when waving Palestinian flags could constitute an offence is expected today.

Read more: 'Prove you stand against violence': Antisemitism campaigners slam 'cowardly' decision to not light up Wembley for Israel

Women were seen tearing down photos of missing Israelis
Women were seen tearing down photos of missing Israelis. Picture: Social media

Anti-Semitic hate crimes have risen from 14 incidents and 12 offences in the two weeks from September 30 last year to 105 incidents and 75 offences in the same period this year.

These included Jewish people being confronted by protesters on Monday who laughed about the deaths the country has suffered.

Footage has circulated showing women tearing down photos of missing Israelis in Camden, and police are looking in to it.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor said: "Jewish Londoners are genuinely scared.

"Tensions are high in the capital and we anticipate this will go on for a fairly long period of time, with unacceptable and hateful behaviour directed at specific communities.

Read more: Israel orders evacuation of 1.1m people from northern Gaza within 24 hours as Sunak urges Netanyahu to protect civilians

"We will not tolerate any glorification or support of terrorist organisations. Hamas is a proscribed terrorist organisation.

We will not tolerate celebration of terrorism or death, full stop, and you will be arrested."

Hamas unleashed its attack, which has led to the deaths of 1,300 Israelis, early on October 7.

The Met said Islamophobic incidents have increased but nowhere near the increased rate of anti-Jewish hate.

All 300 synagogues in London have been visited by police for reassurance, and some 300 officers have been deployed to support schools as three Jewish schools shut for security reasons.

Police said there is no specific threat to schools.

Speaking in Sweden, Sunak said: "Yesterday I chaired a meeting of police chiefs in Downing Street, together with the Community Security Trust, to specifically make sure that everybody in our Jewish communities can feel safe. There's been a, quite frankly, disgusting rise in antisemitic incidents over the past few days.

"That's not right. We have provided extra funding to the Community Security Trust to make sure that Jewish institutions - whether that's synagogue or schools - have all the protection they need and the police have all the support that they need to ensure that our streets are safe for people from all communities.

"Because we will absolutely not tolerate people inciting hatred, or violence, or racist activity, intimidating or threatening behaviour will not be tolerated. It will be met with the full force of the law."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Rishi Sunak has warned 'mob rule' is threatening to 'replace democratic rule'.

Rishi Sunak calls for end to ‘mob rule’ as he urges police chiefs to get tough on protesters


President Joe Biden declared ‘fit for duty’ after annual medical test

Thomas Kingston died aged 45.

Lady Gabriella Windsor's husband Thomas Kingston 'died at his parents' £3m country mansion'


Supreme Court to rule if Trump can be prosecuted in election interference case

Richard Lewis has died aged 76.

Curb Your Enthusiasm star Richard Lewis dies aged 76 after suffering heart attack

Obit Richard Lewis

Richard Lewis, humorously morose star of Curb Your Enthusiasm, dies aged 76

Robert Brown's lost his bid for parole.

BA pilot Robert Brown who bludgeoned wife to death with claw hammer loses bid for early prison release

Film Oscars-Guide

Everything you need to know about this year’s Oscars ceremony

It is understood that RedBird IMI is offering to help pay the £1.16 billion in debts that the current owners, the Barclay family, owe to Lloyds Bank.

Foreign governments must be banned from owning British newspapers, says former Tory cabinet minister

Creech was due to be taken to the execution chamber where he would be strapped down onto a medical table.

Death row execution abandoned after officials 'unable' to give lethal injection - with inmate's death warrant to expire

Mexico volcano

Flights cancelled as Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano erupts

Lee Anderson

Police 'looking into hate speech complaint against Lee Anderson' after MP said Sadiq Khan was controlled by Islamists

New data suggests fewer children are starting their education school-ready.

‘Things are poorer than ever before’: Headteacher says as poll finds fewer kids starting education are school-ready

Israel Palestinians

Food aid reaches north Gaza for first time in weeks, Israeli officials say

The raid also found Class A drugs in the London property, with one of the men later arrested on suspicion of drug supply.

Duo suspected of running smuggling ring through UK airports arrested after 'booking 27 migrants onto 11 flights'

Ben Jamal said James Cleverly's comments were 'absurd'

Palestine protest leader says James Cleverly's call for activists to end Gaza marches is 'absurd'