Police patrols in Jewish areas were significantly increased this week after a spate of appalling incidents in north London and the United States.
In the capital, across Belsize Park and Hampstead, shops and a synagogue were vandalised with antisemitic graffiti, while 30 miles north of New York City a man burst into a rabbi’s house and stabbed five Orthodox Jews, two seriously.
The Chanukah incidents have shaken Jewish communities on both sides of the Atlantic, as security chiefs urged people to be vigilant.
The vandalism in London, which targeted South Hampstead Synagogue, referenced “9.11” which is assumed to mean the conspiracy theory of Jewish or Israeli involvement in the 9/11 attacks on the twin towers and Pentagon in 2001.
The Community Security Trust (CST) tweeted that the “disgusting antisemitic graffiti was clearly the work of someone determined to spread their hatred as widely as possible,” before urging authorities to fully investigate the matter.
Police Inspector Kevin Hailes said: “This is clearly a concerning incident and one we are taking seriously… Officers will be on patrol throughout the area in order to provide some reassurance to local communities.”
Meanwhile officials in the US said the multiple stabbings at a house in Monsey in New York State were an example of “domestic terrorism.” The motive of Grafton Thomas, 38, who was quickly apprehended in Harlem, was initially unknown.
Witnesses said the attacker pulled a knife “the size of a broomstick,” believed to have been a machete, as the country digested yet another violent attack against Jews, just a month after two gunmen killed several people at a kosher store in neighbouring New Jersey.
Police patrols in some areas of Brooklyn with large Jewish populations were increased last week, after 12 previous antisemitic incidents in recent weeks.
Governor Andrew Cuomo described the Monsey attack in the home of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg, as “domestic terrorism,” adding that the growing intolerance in US society was “a cancer”.