‘I want to kill my first Jew,’ London attacker tells Jewish victim

While desecrating a Menorah this Hanukkah, a London man attacked a local Jewish man, yelling "You are Jewish. I am going to kill you."

 The sun rises over the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain  (photo credit: HANNAH MCKAY/ REUTERS)
The sun rises over the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain
(photo credit: HANNAH MCKAY/ REUTERS)

A Jewish man was violently attacked by a man carrying what appeared to be a knife in an antisemitic attack in West Hampstead, North London on December 2nd, according to antisemitic watchdog Antisemitism.org.

According to the police report, the victim saw the alleged attacker desecrating a Menorah on West Hampstead Square, pulling it down before proceeding to stamp on it and shout antisemitic abuse. The attacker, described as between 25-to-30-years-old, approached the victim and aggressively said, “You look Jewish.”

“Are you Jewish?” the attacker asked. The victim said “No,” to which the man replied, “Good, I want to find a Jew to kill.” The victim then entered a nearby supermarket and called the police, who said they did not consider the case to be an urgent matter before promising to respond an hour later.

The attacker then continued pulling down the Menorah and harassing local residents in the neighborhood, which has a sizable Jewish population. The victim and a supermarket employee then confronted the attacker as he threatened a young woman, which led the attacker to re-focus his attention on the man. “I knew you were Jewish, you lied to me… You are Jewish. I am going to kill you,” the attacker yelled as he approached the man. He then said something in Arabic before allegedly declaring “I want to kill my first Jew.”

 A VAN WITH a slogan aimed at Britain’s Labour Party is driven around London’s Parliament Square ahead of a debate on antisemitism in Parliament, in April 2018. (credit: REUTERS/HANNAH MCKAY) A VAN WITH a slogan aimed at Britain’s Labour Party is driven around London’s Parliament Square ahead of a debate on antisemitism in Parliament, in April 2018. (credit: REUTERS/HANNAH MCKAY)

The attacker then chased the victim into the supermarket and pushed the victim as hard as he could with both hands on the victim’s chest, forcing the victim to take a step backward – all the while the same ominous line: “You are Jewish. I am going to kill you.” The attacker then viciously punched the victim several times in the head, shouting Arabic phrases and at one point saying “I am not going away until you are dead.”

As the victim finally began to run away, dropping his hat and heavy coat that was slowing him down, the attacker revealed a knife and allegedly said “I will kill you now, you Jew,” before making a throat-slitting gesture at the fleeing man and taking his hat and coat, which he left at the scene. None of the contents of the bag or jacket had been taken.

“What this victim has suffered is unspeakable, and it is only thanks to his quick thinking that he survived the ordeal without even worse injury than he endured. The delayed response of the police, despite the close proximity of a police station just up the road, is deeply concerning, and the result is that a man who apparently wants to kill Jews is now at liberty,” said Stephen Silverman, Director of Investigations and Enforcement at Campaign Against Antisemitism.

“This is the most heinous of a considerable number of antisemitic crimes that we have reported over the course of Chanukah. The sad truth is that our nation’s capital is not nearly as safe as it should be for Jewish people who wish to celebrate a festival or, in this case, simply go about their daily lives. Unless the police and the justice system step up and ensure that antisemitic criminals face the full consequences of their despicable actions, this will not change,” Silverman continued.

After the incident ended, the police were again called and finally responded to the incident. After the police inaction – amplified by the fact that the police station was only half a mile away – the victim called the “Community Security Trust” (CST), a British charity whose purpose is to provide safety, security, and advice to the Jewish community in the UK.

The assailant remains at large, per police. “Officers have carried out a number of inquiries and have today released a CCTV image of a man they need to speak with. Anyone who recognizes the man is asked to call police via 101 or tweet @MetCC,” Metropolitan Police said.