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Campaigners urge unity against racism after anti-semitic graffiti

ANTI-RACISM campaigners called for unity to defeat racism today after a synagogue and several north London shop fronts were defaced with anti-semitic graffiti.

The Hampstead and Belsize Park area woke up to the Star of David alongside the numbers “9 11” spray-painted in red and purple on several premises during the religious festival of Hanukkah, including South Hampstead Synagogue.

The graffiti refers to an anti-semitic conspiracy theory that Jewish people were behind the 2001 terror attacks in the United States.

Police said they are investigating the racially motivated hate crime after receiving reports of the vandalism late Saturday night.

No arrests have been made at the time of writing, but the Metropolitan Police has called for anyone with information to call 101.

The graffiti was seen being removed by council workers from shop windows yesterday afternoon.

David Rosenberg of the Jewish Socialists’ Group condemned the graffiti and said: “Every racist, fascist, and conspiracy theorist will have felt emboldened by the re-election of Boris Johnson’s hard right Tory government.

“That government will be judged not only on its response to this incident but to how it responds to recent applications by racists and fascists to join the Tories, and what further action they take against Tory election candidates suspended over anti-semitism.

“This year has witnessed sickening attacks on other minorities too. Our strongest defence in 2020 will be through minority communities and all anti-racists giving practical support and solidarity to each other.”

Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) co-convenor Weyman Bennett called for unity and for people to reject racism in communities.

He told the Star: “We condemn any form of anti-semitism, racism and Islamophobia and reject any attempts to sow division between people.

“[SUTR] argues that we need to maximise unity against the growth of the far right and racism from the government. We understand that unless we have unity to defeat racism, it can only end in tragedy.”

Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn Tulip Siddiq said: “Unbelievable, senseless, disgusting anti-semitism at the heart of our community. We must all stay vigilant in order to continue the fight against this hatred.”

Following the news, campaign group Jewdas warned on Twitter that British Movement, a nazi splinter from the National Front, have been covering the area with “nasty fascist stickers” for the past 18 months.

The incident comes after five people were stabbed at a rabbi’s home in New York during a Hanukkah celebration on Saturday night.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn sent “love and solidarity” to Jewish communities around the world.

He tweeted:  “How terrible that Chanukah started with a message of hope and on this last day we face anti-semitic graffiti in London and horrific stabbings at a party in New York. We stand with all our communities facing hate.

“We send love and solidarity to Jewish communities around the world.”


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