Members of London's Jewish community have expressed concern after a number of Nazi Swastikas on pieces of paper were left in a children's playground next to a residential home in Stamford Hill, according to reports on Wednesday (15 June). The Swastikas were found by members of the local Shomrim neighbourhood watch group over two consecutive nights. Now some parents say they don't want their children to enter the playground because they believe neo-Nazis are lurking nearby.
"There's a sense of anxiety and fear amongst local parents," Shulem Stern, from the Shomrim, told the Evening Standard. "The playground neighbours a Jewish care home where many elderly Jewish residents live, some of them Holocaust survivors. It's a mindless act, I hope the ones responsible are caught and brought to justice."
Board of Deputies vice president, Marie van der Zyl told the Jewish Chronicle: "The daubing of Nazi symbols in a place where Jewish children study and play is an act of racism intended to spread fear and alarm. In a week when the Board of Deputies has given evidence at the Home Affairs Select Committee's inquiry into the rise of antisemitism, this is an example of one of the many threats the Jewish community faces. We hope the perpetrators will be apprehended and made to feel the full force of the law."
At that select committee inquiry, former mayor of London Ken Livingstone was forced to defend himself for remarks he made about Hitler and Zionism. However, during a heated exchange he was accused by Labour MP Chuka Umunna of being a "pin-up for prejudice."
There has been a sharp rise in antisemitic attacks in the UK in recent years and along with attacks on Jewish targets by Islamists across Europe and the apparent rise in antisemitic debate within the Labour Party, some Jewish people are wondering if it might be safer to emigrate to Israel. However many Jewish people have said they are happy to remain in the UK, seeing it far less antisemitic than in comparison to places such as France..