A police investigation is underway after a video emerged yesterday of anti-Semitic yobs harassing Jewish bus passengers travelling through London.
The shocking incident took place on Oxford Street in London on Monday.
Video footage shows the men hitting the windows of the bus, shouting abuse, spitting and making various hand gestures to those inside, including what appear to be Nazi salutes. Additionally, several men removed their shoes and hit the windows with them and waved them in the direction of those inside, which is seen as a gesture of disrespect in Arabic culture.
📽️// Police are investigating after yobs attempted to smash the windows of an open-top bus carrying Jewish teens celebrating Chanukah. They also spat on the bus, swore at the passengers and yelled verbal threats and abuse.https://t.co/HidI4s908g pic.twitter.com/YyWjruTx2d
— Jewish News (@JewishNewsUK) December 1, 2021
The incident was reported by two of the passengers on the bus by the Community Security Trust (CST) which works with the government to monitor anti-Semitic hate crimes in the UK.
According to the Jewish News, those on board were Hasidic Jews who were celebrating the first night of Hanukkah on an open-top bus, with music, dancing and handing out of food.
The Metropolitan Police said officers were called to Oxford Street at around 8pm on Monday, but met the bus at another location after it moved on to “avoid any further confrontation”, police said.
The Met said: “The group shown in the video could not be located at the time of the incident and there have been no arrests.
“The incident is being treated as a hate crime and officers will be assessing the available evidence to identify any possible lines of enquiry.”
Dave Rich, CST’s director of policy, told the PA news agency: “They were quite frightened that the group who were threatening them were going to physically assault them, they were spitting at them.
“They were pretty scared and they definitely felt it was because they were Jewish that they’d been targeted, there was absolutely no doubt about that.”
“London is a city where Jewish people must be able to celebrate our festivals and enjoy an open, confident Jewish way of life, epitomised by the enormous Chanukiah in Trafalgar Square.
“This disgusting incident goes against everything this city stands for and should be condemned by all. We will be working closely with the police to support the victims of this attack and ensure that those responsible are identified and brought to justice.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “Antisemitism has no place whatsoever in society and I utterly condemn these disgusting acts. No one should have to experience this. “If you have any information about this incident, I urge you to report it.”
Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies said: “We are appalled by the horrifying footage of Jewish people targeted on Oxford Street. We note that besides attempts to spit at them, at least one of the perpetrators appears to be performing a Nazi salute. We hope the police will swiftly identify and arrest those involved in this disgusting incident.”
Police urged anyone who recognises the men in the video, or who has any other information, to call police on 101 with the reference 6187/29NOV.
Information can also be provided to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.