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‘Shock and horror’ as antisemitic graffiti daubed on shops and London synagogue | UK News

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Police are investigating after antisemitic graffiti was daubed on “at least 12” locations in north London during the Jewish festival of Hanukkah.

The racist messages appeared in a number of locations around Hampstead and Belsize Park on Saturday night.

The graffiti, sprayed on to buildings and objects using red and purple paint, depicts the Star of David and the numbers “9.11”, possibly a reference to a conspiracy theory that Jews were involved in the 2001 terror attacks.

Anti-semitic graffiti in north London. Pic: Oliver Cooper
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Police were called shortly before midnight on Saturday. Pic: Oliver Cooper

One of the messages is believed to have been sprayed outside a Jewish restaurant, while others appeared on cafes, shops and South Hampstead Synagogue.

Police were called shortly before midnight but no arrests have been made yet.

Teams are now working to remove the graffiti and officers will be patrolling the area.

Inspector Kev Hailes of the Metropolitan Police said: “This is clearly a concerning incident and one we are taking seriously.

“I ask anyone who might have seen anything suspicious last night to call us and aid the investigation.”

Commentator and novelist Norman Lebrecht tweeted a message from his synagogue, which read: “Dear Community,
Unfortunately the Synagogue was daubed with anti-Semitic graffiti last night.

Anti-semitic graffiti in north London. Pic: Oliver Cooper
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Spray paint was used to draw the racist graffiti. Pic: Oliver Cooper
Anti-semitic graffiti in north London. Pic: Oliver Cooper
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The graffiti depicts the Star of David in red. Pic: Oliver Cooper

“[We] were not the only ones – this occurred in at least 12 other locations in Hampstead and Belsize Park.

“The Police, Camden Council and CST have been informed.”

Oliver Cooper, a Conservative councillor for Hampstead, said he was “sickened” by the racist abuse.

“All decent people across Britain stand with our Jewish community – and we must move heaven and earth to eradicate this racist hatred, which was unimaginable just a few years ago,” he wrote on Twitter.

He said the synagogue which had been targeted was “a place of peace and prayer, desecrated by the world’s oldest hatred”.

A cleaner removes some of the racist graffiti
Image:
A cleaner removes some of the racist graffiti

Mr Cooper said: “My first reaction was shock and horror.” He added he had reported antisemitic graffiti in Hampstead a number of times before.

But he said the latest incident was worse than he had ever seen before, having found the graffiti in nine locations.

Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn Tulip Siddiq condemned the vandalism as “unbelievable, senseless, disgusting antisemitism at the heart of our community”.

It follows an attack at a rabbi’s home in New York in which five people were stabbed as they celebrated Hanukkah.

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting CAD 7282/28Dec or the independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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