Jewish community shocked and appalled by UK riots
LAST UPDATED: 08/09/2011 20:03
Media monitoring organization angry over singling out of Hasidic rioters in 'Guardian' report.
London protest turns violent Photo: REUTERS
The British Jewish community has expressed its shock over the recent rioting which has shaken the UK over the last few days.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews called for unity and said on Tuesday that the community’s thoughts were with the victims.
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Jewish community, like all right minded people, will have been shocked
and appalled at the wanton destruction and criminality witnessed on our
streets over the last few days,” Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the
Board of Deputies. “Attacks on businesses and property are also assaults
on the lives and livelihoods of decent hardworking people, trying to
get by in difficult times, and the perpetrators are beneath contempt.”
Monday, the Board’s interfaith manager Philip Rosenberg spoke alongside
Muslim and Christian representatives at a vigil in Tottenham, calling
for unity and a concerted effort by communities to address the problems
“Our thoughts are with the innocent victims whose homes and businesses
have been destroyed, and with the police, fire and ambulance services as
they try to restore order to our streets,” Rosenberg said.
Community Security Trust, an organization which tackles anti-Semitism
and provides security for the community, said on Tuesday that there had
been no reports of targeted attacks against the community or communal
However it said as a precaution, security procedures should be enhanced.
violence is, however, quite indiscriminate and could as easily affect
our community as any other. The situation remains highly volatile, and
there is no way of knowing at this time if it will further deteriorate,”
the organization said.
Among the precautions it advised the
community to take included being aware of your surroundings when
arriving and leaving communal buildings and on a personal level to “try
to look and act confidently – look like you know where you are and where
you are going” and ensure you know where your children are at all
One Jewish-owned store in Tottenham, north London, was
targeted on Sunday. Hardware store H. Glickman Ltd, a family business
set up in 1932, was smashed into and ransacked.
Meanwhile media monitoring organization Comment is Free Watch (CiFW), has condemned the Guardian
newspaper for a story on the riots in which it found it
“pertinent” to note that some Hasidic Jews had allegedly jeered police
without mentioning the ethnicity of the rioters.
The paragraph in question, published in the Guardian
on Monday, stated: “The make-up of the rioters was racially mixed. Most
were men or boys, some apparently as young as 10….But families and
other local residents, including some from Tottenham’s Hasidic Jewish
community, also gathered to watch and jeer at police.”
“A 1,800 Guardian
report doesn’t mention the race, ethnicity, or religion of the rioters,
somehow found it pertinent to note that some of those who gathered to
jeer police were, allegedly, Hasidic Jews,” CiFW said on Tuesday.
the rioters – who have torched, ransacked and looted shops, pubs, banks
and even residential properties, and have attacked journalists, police,
and firefighters for the past three days – are characterized as merely
“racially mixed”, yet he somehow deems it relevant to note that some of
Tottenham’s Hasidic Jewish community were among those who allegedly
watched and “jeered” police,” it added.
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