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Prominent rabbi from Israel left 'traumatised' after vile antisemitic attack in Stamford Hill

PUBLISHED: 12:03 02 December 2019 | UPDATED: 09:14 03 December 2019

The rabbi was attacked in Amhurst Park on Friday night. Picture: Met Police

The rabbi was attacked in Amhurst Park on Friday night. Picture: Met Police

Archant

A prominent rabbi from Israel was left "traumatised" after a horrific antisemitic attack in Stamford Hill on Friday night.

Rabbi Herschel Gluck OBE speaks at a Stand Up to Racism event earlier this year. Picture: Polly HancockRabbi Herschel Gluck OBE speaks at a Stand Up to Racism event earlier this year. Picture: Polly Hancock

The rabbi, a dayan who sits as a judge in Judaic courts, was in Hackney for a family wedding and was walking back to a relative's home when he was beaten up by two thugs in Amhurst Park.

Volunteer-led neighbourhood watch group Shomrim say the attackers, two young men in hoods, shouted: "Kill Jews, f*** Jews" during the "vicious, unprovoked assault".

They repeatedly punched him and threw him to the ground, and were only stopped when a woman passing by shouted at them.

The rabbi was left bleeding on the pavement.

Shomrim chair, rabbi Herschel Gluck, last week told the Gazette the rise in hate crimes was down to people feeling emboldened by a lack of police on the streets.

After the latest incident he said it was time the authorities started taking the attacks seriously.

He said: "He is a notable rabbi from Israel, a very scholarly, learned man who a lot of people turn to with queries and questions.

"He was walking home at 9.45pm when he was attacked by two young men. He said to them he didn't have any money, or a phone as it was Shabbat. But they just carried on hitting him and shouting antisemitic abuse.

"He is shocked and traumatised."

The rabbi has since left the country, and police are investigating, though no arrests have been made. Rabbi Gluck said enquiries were underway to obtain any CCTV from the scene.

"The authorities really need to take this seriously," he added. "It can not continue. We need better protection. If something like this happens they need to take care of the situation."

Following the incident, Diane Abbott said on Twitter: "This is horrific. It has shaken our Hackney community to its core.

We stand in solidarity with the Jewish community in Stamford Hill and across the UK."

It comes after three boys from the Haredi community were attacked on the 253 bus on Sunday November 24. One victim was punched in the face, and all had their hats thrown off.

Rabbi Gluck said: "This is a problem which cuts across the board regarding people from all types of minorities.

"The people who commit these offences have very often themselves suffered issues and sadly they feel frustrated and instead of doing something positive, they do something negative."

The Met has struggled to plug a £700m shortfall in funds since 2010, leading to a loss of 3,000 officers, 3,000 police community support officer (PCSOs), and 5,000 staff by the end of 2018, according to Sadiq Khan. Government reports suggest the force only grew by 120 duty-ready officers this year.

At the same time, racial hate crimes have steadily risen since 2013/2014. Just last month, the Home Office reported these crimes rose by 11pc - 78,991 offences. That is 290 racist hate crimes on average a week.

Rabbi Gluck said Boris Johnson's pledge to recruit 20,000 more officers was not enough as it didn't even bring the numbers back to the 2010 figure.

Det Supt Adam Ghaboos, from the Met's Central East BCU, said: "We are committed to tackling hate crime in all its forms and from the point this offence was reported to us, we have been working hard to establish the circumstances of what happened.

"We want to reassure the Jewish community that we take such offences extremely seriously."

Police have asked anyone with information about the attack to call 101 quoting CAD6332/30/11/19.

Shomrim can also be contacted on 0300 999 0123.

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