Four people were arrested in London on Sunday after drivers in a convoy were captured on camera carrying Palestinian flags and hurling threats to rape Jewish women and children. The convoy was driving down a road in North London that is home to a sizeable Jewish community, when people from inside were seen making the calls.
The Metropolitan Police in London said that the four men were arrested on suspicion of racially instigating people and violating the country's laws and were taken at a west London police station. According to police, bystanders watched the convoy in shock as they drove past the street. The video of the incident has since gone viral.
Out of Hatred
The convoy had traveled from Bradford in northern England to London on Sunday morning and while passing through a road in North London started making threatening calls of raping Jewish women and children, according to the Community Security Trust, a charity that monitors the security of the Jewish community.
The men were also captured on mobile phone camera by the bystanders. "We are aware of a video appearing to show anti-Semitic language being shouted from a convoy of cars in the St John's Wood area this afternoon," the Metropolitan Police wrote on Twitter before the arrests.
"Officers are carrying out urgent enquiries to identify those responsible. This sort of behavior will not be tolerated," it further read.
Even then, the incident has sparked fear among members of the British Jewish community and many now feel afraid to walk through the city. "I guess after today I have to add to this thread "don't shout 'F*ck the Jews' while driving through north London," British Jewish writer Dave Rich, who has written extensively about anti-Semitism in the UK, tweeted on Sunday.
Police on High Alert
Following the incident and investigation has been launched and the men are being interrogated. Also, police is on high alert and is keeping a watch that no such incident is repeated. The video of the incident which went viral has further raised fears in the minds of Jews in the UK.
So much so that even Prime Minister Boris Johnson, London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Labor Party leader Keir Starmer have all condemned the incident, which came just before the Jewish festival of Shavuot. "There is no place for antisemitism in our society," Johnson wrote on Twitter on Sunday.
"Ahead of Shavuot, I stand with Britain's Jews who should not have to endure the type of shameful racism we have seen today," Johnson said on Sunday.
In another incident a rabbi in London was attacked close to his synagogue in Chigwell, Essex on Sunday. According to reports, Rabbi Rafi Goodwin was hospitalized with head and eye injuries after he was attacked by two men.
There has been some unrest in London over the past week, with rise in anti-Jewish sentiment following the Israel-Palestine conflict. On Saturday, thousands of demonstrators assembled outside the Israeli Embassy in London to protest Israel's operation in Gaza. Some protesters also tore up and burnt Israeli flags.