Man Grabbed by UK Police for Being Too Jewish

(Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Insulted as “scum” and “Nazi” by pro-Palestinian protesters at a rally in London, a Jewish activist — who wasn’t part of the demonstration — is accusing police of treating him like a criminal, and calling for the city’s top cop to be fired.

In a commentary for The Sunday Times, Gideon Falter, chief executive of the Campaign Against Antisemitism, said “being Jewish in public feels like a brave act.”

Recounting the brush with protesters and London cops, Falter said he was walking with friends in central London after services at a synagogue.

“We came across the pro-Palestine protest and we started to cross the road as the front of the march got to us,” he wrote. “Suddenly I felt hands on me. I looked around to see a police officer who was shoving me onto the pavement.”

Falter’s complaint about the Metropolitan Police officer was filmed and posted on social media.

“You are quite openly Jewish, this is a pro-Palestinian march,” one cop told Falter. “I’m not accusing you of anything but I’m worried about the reaction to your presence.”

Falter charged that protesters who gathered around him and the Met officer shouted, “disgusting,” “lock them up,” “Nazis,” “scum.” He also alleged Met officers warned that if he remained there, he’d be “causing a breach of peace” and arrested.

“There were people around me, with their faces covered, shouting repeatedly: ‘scum, scum, scum, scum, scum.’ Why wasn’t there any problem with their behavior?” Falter asked.

“It’s not just that central London is a ‘no-go zone’ for Jews, as has been said previously, but a police-enforced Jew-free zone,” he wrote.

“What happened to me is the inevitable outcome of an approach to policing that sacrifices the rights of law-abiding Londoners to appease lawless mobs,” he stated, adding: “what is an absolute stain on the reputation of the Met is the way the force has handled it since I complained.”

In its first statement on the shocking confrontation, the Met issued an apology for the officer’s language, but said Falter “must know” his presence was  “provocative” and that he was “increasing the likelihood of an altercation” by being there.

A second apology conceded “being Jewish is not a provocation,” Falter recounted.

In a separate statement, the government Home Office, whose jurisdiction includes the Met, added: “Simply being Jewish — or of any other race or religion — should never be seen as provocative.”

Falter said the apologies come too late.

“The Met has dented the confidence of Jewish Londoners and for that reason we feel that [the Met’s Commissioner of Police] Mark Rowley has to go.”

“If we just accept that we are no longer welcome on the streets of London, it is the end of that world,” he added.

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