Darren Adam 1am - 4am
Four arrested after reports of anti-Semitic threats being shouted from cars
16 May 2021, 17:17 | Updated: 16 May 2021, 20:42
Four people have been arrested following reports of people shouting anti-Semitic language in a convoy of cars in north London.
Footage on social media showed a convoy of cars covered with Palestinian flags passing down Finchley Road with passengers heard to shout offensive language and threats against Jews.
The Prime Minister condemned acts of "shameful racism" after the footage went viral.
The car was traced to the A40 in Hillingdon, and police used the police helicopter to track it.
The four men were arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated public order offences and are currently being held in a west London police station.
There is no place for antisemitism in our society. Ahead of Shavuot, I stand with Britain’s Jews who should not have to endure the type of shameful racism we have seen today.— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) May 16, 2021
Superintendent Jo Edwards said: "This behaviour was utterly shocking and will not be tolerated. I understand that this would have caused considerable concern within the community and we have arranged extra patrols in the St John's Wood and Golders Green areas this evening."
The incident comes after thousands of people marched through London on Saturday to the gates of the Israeli embassy, while protests took place in other cities across the UK and Ireland in solidarity with the people of Palestine.
Thousands of Palestinians have been forced to flee their homes after a week of sustained conflict.
Since Monday night, Palestinian militant group Hamas has fired hundreds of rockets into Israel, whose military responded by barraging the Gaza Strip with tank fire and air strikes.
Boris Johnson said: "There is no place for anti-Semitism in our society.
"Ahead of Shavuot, I stand with Britain's Jews who should not have to endure the type of shameful racism we have seen today."
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer described the incident as "utterly disgusting."
"Anti-Semitism, misogyny and hate have no place on our streets or in our society," he said.
"There must be consequences."
Referring to the video of the convoy, Housing and Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said: "This, on the streets of London, is deeply disturbing.
"Vile, criminal hatred like this must not be tolerated."
In a statement Mr Jenrick continued: "Whatever your view of the conflict in Israel and Gaza, there is no justification for inciting anti-Jewish or anti-Muslim hatred.
"The incidents of anti-Semitism we have seen in recent days have been shameful.
"Some of the language used on marches this weekend and in posts on social media is intimidating, criminal and racist.
"We must not tolerate this vile, shameful hate in our country. These actions must stop."
Cabinet minister Michael Gove described another video appearing to show protesters shouting anti-Semitic abuse as "deeply concerning".
Gideon Falter, chief executive of Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: "Today's convoy and demonstration were utterly predictable and preventable.
"These anti-Semitic thugs must face the full force of the law.
"We are deeply concerned for the safety of British Jews. We are grateful for the allyship of those who have spoken up for us but alarmed by the incitement that drowns it out."
The Met added that officers also engaged with protesters at a planned demonstration in Whitehall during the afternoon.
It said the event occurred peacefully and concluded without any arrests.