A Jewish chaplain has praised his 16-year old daughter’s response after being punched and kicked in a racist attack in an Edgware park – and slammed the police for “failing to respond”.
Alex Goldberg, a barrister who is Jewish Chaplain at the University of Surrey and Chaplain to Surry Police, said the attack took place on Shabbat almost two weeks ago, and that one of the attackers said: “Hitler should have killed all you Jews.”
Writing on Facebook, Goldberg said his daughter Hannah – who was in Stoneyfields Park with two friends – had a basketball thrown at her head before being kicked in the chest and punched in the face by two boys, who then ran off.
He said the girls, who are Orthodox and easily recognisable for wearing long skirts on Shabbat, were then helped by a mother of two children who called the police, but that officers had not arrived two hours later, when the girls went home.
Taking to social media, Goldberg said he was posting the story “in the hope that the Met Police sort themselves out here and that we as community leaders start to realise that it is important to work on community cohesion”.
Speaking to Jewish News this week, he said the police had subsequently apologised to him verbally, and that there was now an investigation both into the incident itself, led by the CID, as well as an internal investigation into the lack of response.
Goldberg is a well-known community figure, having been chief executive of the London Jewish Forum and chair of the Faith Forum for London. He was also Jewish Chaplain to the Olympic Games in the capital in 2012.
Recalling the incident, he said the group of five boys had been playing basketball but approached the girls, with Hannah, an Immanuel College student currently sitting her GCSEs, asking what they were staring at.
One of the group, who was described as being of Afro-Caribbean appearance, is then alleged to have said: “Hitler should have killed all you Jews when he had the chance… You should have all been gassed.”
There followed an argument, but as the girls walked away, Goldberg said two boys laid into her in an “extremely violent” assault, punching and kicking her, leaving her with a split lip and bruising to her body and head.
This week he said he was “so proud” of her “stoic response,” adding: “Both my daughter and I, indeed the whole family, remain committed to eradicating racism and religious intolerance and attacks on women… We shall be jointly writing to the Met Commissioner in light of the lack of police response.”
He added: “My daughter’s concern is about promoting good race relations, but also that other girls should not be attacked. The kind of language they used, you hear it on social media, but if it’s now on the streets that is very worrying.”
A spokesman for the Community Security Trust (CST) said: “We are in contact with Alex over what was an appalling and very distressing incident and we will give him and his family whatever support they need.”