Rabbi sounds extremism warning over Stamford Hill swastikas
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Rabbi sounds extremism warning over Stamford Hill swastikas

Rabbi Gluck said the offensive symbols were being placed there as an attempt to 'instil fear'

A Rabbi has warned of a rise in right-wing extremism after drawings of swastikas were left in a children’s playground in what he described as an attempt to “instil fear”.

The Nazi symbols have appeared four days in a row in Amhurst Park, Stamford Hill, north London, once stuck onto the back of a car.

The presence of an Ajex house – a home for Jewish ex-British service personnel – nearby is no coincidence, Rabbi Herschel Gluck said.

He said: “I think sadly this is the rise of right-wing extremism. There are elderly people who served in the British army and fought in the Second World War living nearby and I think that is particularly poignant. I think it’s an attempt to intimidate and instil fear.”

Rabbi Gluck said such incidents must be treated seriously, especially in the light of the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox.

He added: “This is something that in today’s climate, after what we saw with MP (Jo) Cox, we must be very careful of.

“Even though these may seem small things, this can be the thin end of the wedge and lead to more serious matters and therefore they must not be tolerated.”

Polish-born Ita Symons, whose family fled at the outbreak of war in Europe, said such acts are a clear attempt to scare people.

The chief executive of the Agudas Israel Housing Association, who came to Britain in 1946, said: “It is so shocking. The intention is to scare and incite hatred.

“For Jewish people, a swastika is about the most frightening, terrible symbol associated with murder and death.”

MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, Diane Abbott told Jewish News: ‘I am dismayed to hear about swastikas left on streets of Stamford Hill, outside a playground and near a care home for Jewish residents who served in the Second World War.

“Across Europe we are  seeing the rise of right wing extremism and the United Kingdom is not immune from the threat. “The terrible murder of my colleague Jo Cox reminds us that we must all be vigilant against racism and anti-Semitism. I have arranged a meeting with the Borough Commander and  will discuss what additional measures can be taken to keep the community safe. I hope the perpetrators of this outrage will be caught and brought to justice.’

The Metropolitan Police said the force is investigating following the discoveries between June 14 and 17, but no arrests have been made.

 

 

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