Editorial: Spotting the signs

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Editorial: Spotting the signs

This week, we ask if the spate of vicious anti-Semitic attacks in London last week had any relation to Donald Trump's first week

The smashed window, posted online by Shomrim North West London
The smashed window, posted online by Shomrim North West London

It’s as if Donald Trump’s inauguration was the cue. Within hours, police were finding graffiti on bins and bollards reading ‘F*** Jews’ and ‘Heil Hitler’. Then a Jewish woman had eggs pelted at her from a passing car. Then a brick with ‘Jew S**t’ and a swastika drawn on it was thrown through the windows of a Jewish family’s home. Then police were called to another property where a swastika had been scribed in condensation.

All this happened in Mill Hill and Edgware, centres of large
Jewish populations. The perpetrators knew where to strike and when – over Shabbat.

To say that this is disgusting doesn’t come close. To describe it as medieval probably sums it up better. Such targeted, direct hatred in so concentrated an area has rarely been seen in recent years.

But it has been seen before. You don’t need sniffer dogs to spot the signs.

Events are seldom random, and if all these incidents occurred within a few hours of each other, it is likely we will find a link, although police were careful not to suggest such until there is evidence.

Why now? Those who see in Donald Trump a white nationalist’s knight in shining armour may see his instalment in the White House as the reason London’s Jews were targeted when they were.

Those who still see his presidency only through the prism of his strong support for Israel are likewise likely to rubbish claims of any links to the day America crowned its controversial new leader.

Is this the start of something? It doesn’t appear so. The Community Security Trust is well-placed to understand and share any intelligence with the police. The dedicated volunteers of community watch group Shomrim are on the ground and alert.

As a community, at times like these, we resemble a mob of meerkats, all of us sitting upright, all of us on-watch. It’s likely that the danger has passed, that it was just the act of a few random racists. But still.

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