(JTA) — Police in London arrested a man suspected of accosting an Orthodox Jew outside his synagogue in what witnesses said was an anti-Semitic hate crime.
According to Shomrim, a Jewish community volunteer security service, the attacker pushed his victim before shouting racial slurs in a seemingly unprovoked incident outside a synagogue in Stamford Hill, in northeast London, on Thursday night, the Jewish Chronicle of London reported. Shomrim volunteers alerted police, who arrested the man.
Separately, more than 2,000 people signed a petition asking police to protect Liverpool’s Jewish community from a neo-Nazi rally planned in the city.
The White Man March, organized by far-right group National Action, is due to take place in the city center on Aug. 15, the Chronicle reported Wednesday.
The petition was launched by Merseyside Jewish Representative Council, which noted that the previous White Man March, held four months ago in Newcastle, attracted around 100 extremists and included the burning and shredding of Israeli flags.
“This march is a major concern for us and we believe it is calculated to incite racial hatred and public disorder,” Howard Winik, the council’s vice-chairman, said. “We are calling urgently on the Chief Constable to exercise his powers to protect the local community and to send out a clear message that this kind of activity crosses a line and cannot be tolerated.”
Mark Gardner, director of communications at the Community Security Trust, the British Jewish security umbrella, told the Chronicle that since the rally will not be near any Jewish locations, there is little more the police can do.
Earlier this month, police cited public safety in moving a rally by neo-Nazis planned in the London suburb of Golders Green, where a large Jewish community lives.