“Anti-Semitic” attack on London synagogue leads to arrests – CBS News
Police arrested six men after a group of 20 or so tried to violently force their way into a London synagogue late Saturday night, according to multiple reports.
In a video posted to YouTube that appears to show the incident, members of the Ahavas Torah synagogue in Stamford Hill can be seen defending themselves with chairs and other objects amid loud cursing and an apparent assault by an unseen group just outside a pair of doors with broken windows.
Reuters reports only one worshipper sustained minor facial injuries defending the building.
It is unclear what kicked off the incident, but police expressed doubt it was a planned attack.
“The incident is being treated as an anti-Semitic incident, due to remarks made by one of the group,” London’s Metropolitan police said in a statement. “However, there is nothing to suggest it was a planned or targeted attack.”
Rabbi Maurice Davis of the Ahavas Torah synagogue, backed up the police statement, telling the BBC: “I think this incident was more anti-social than anti-Semitic.”
After a gunman in the recent terror attacks in Denmark appears to have targeted Jews at a Copenhagen synagogue, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu encouraged Europe’s Jews to leave.
Anti-semitism on the rise in Europe again
“Again, Jews were murdered on European soil just because they were Jews,” Netanyahu said at the start of his Cabinet meeting on Sunday. “This wave of attacks is expected to continue, as well as murderous anti-Semitic attacks. Jews deserve security in every country, but we say to our Jewish brothers and sisters, Israel is your home.”
Netanyahu’s call has sparked a passionate debate about the safety of Jews in Europe amid a growing tide of anti-Semitism, as well as questions about whether officials there are doing everything they can to protect their Jewish populations.
A London police spokesman told The Telegraph that the incident appears to have been caused by “drunk males, believed to have walked to the area from a house party nearby.”
However, Meir Taub, a member of a local patrol designed to crack down on violence against Jews, told the Telegraph: “The number of these incidents has increased in the past few months, since before Charlie Hebdo.”