LONDON (JTA) — A Jewish man who was assaulted in a Jewish North London neighborhood said the attackers said, “This is for Gaza.”
Michael, 31, told JTA that he was on a dark street walking home when the group ran into him, punched him in the face and knocked him to the ground. They then kicked and punched before one assailant shouted, “This is for Gaza.”
The assailants fled when someone from a nearby house shouted.
“They had their faces covered, so I couldn’t really see them,” Michael said.
He was treated and released from a local hospital with a black eye and a number of cuts and bruises.
On Monday Michael went to synagogue to say a thanksgiving blessing for surviving a dangerous situation.
“It could have been much worse," he said. "They could have had knives.”
The incident happened as the Community Security Trust, the organization in charge of the security of the British Jewish community and its institutions, said the number of anti-Semitic attacks since the start of Israel’s military operation in Gaza reached over 150, more than at any time since the organization was established a quarter of a century ago.
Jonathan Hoffman, the co-vice chairman of the Zionist Federation of Great Britian, said that the government and the media should do more. He told JTA that after the July 7, 2005 terror attacks on the London subway system, the British government and the media “were quick to come out against Islamophobia and warned against attacks on Muslims.”
Now, Hoffman said, “when the violence is not even in this country, the media is not showing interest in attacks against Jews and the unprecedented rise in anti-Semitic attacks.”