Jews threatened with death at UK rallies, police do nothing

At seven anti-Israel demonstrations in 2021, death threats were chanted against Jews but arrests have yet to be made.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

UK police have yet to arrest a single person who chanted death threats against Jews in seven rallies across the country last year although they admit criminal charges could be brought, The Jewish Chronicle (JC) reported Thursday.

The demonstrations took place on the background of last May’s Operation Guardian of the Walls, when the IDF struck back at Hamas’ indiscriminate launching of some 4,000 rockets at Israel. At each of the pro-Palestinian protests, the JC uncovered video evidence of people in the crowd chanting, “Khaybar, Khaybar ya Yahud, Jaish Mohammed sauf ya’ud,” which means, “Watch out Jews, Remember Khaybar, the Army of Mohammed is returning.”

The cry alludes to a series of battles in Khaybar in present-day Saudi Arabia, where a Muslim army led by Mohammad defeated Jews during the early seventh century.

A spokesman for the Community Security Trust (CST), a British charity that provides safety, security and advice to the Jewish community in the UK, told the paper that the group had been asking the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for months to go after the perpetrators — but to no avail.

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“We’ve been tracking this for years,” said Dave Rich regarding the mantra that was heard as far back as 2010 at anti-Israel protests. “But the police remain deeply reluctant to make arrests in the middle of a demo and, so far, have only investigated after the event.”

“Yet this really impacts the Jewish community and it damages confidence. It would be much better if the police were proactive and intervened.”

Why the authorities do not act in real time is an open question. The police and CPS both admit that the use of this blatant threat constitutes a crime of incitement to racial hatred under Section 18 of the UK’s Public Order Act.

In only one protest out of four in London and one each in Wales, Newcastle and Manchester can police be seen taking away a few demonstrators.

One protester can clearly be heard saying in English, “We’ll find some Jews! We want the Zionists! We want their blood!” However, no arrest was made.

Labour party MPs addressed the crowds in each case. At one demonstration in London, where former party head Jeremy Corbyn and former shadow home secretary Diane Abbott addressed the crowd, shouts of “Death to the Jews” in Arabic could be heard.

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In response to a query from The JC, Corbyn’s spokesman said that he “did not hear any such chant.”

Labour MP Geraint Davies, who spoke at the Wales protest, denied understanding the Khaybar chant used repeatedly by the person to whom he handed his microphone.

“I oppose any expressions of antisemitism and will continue to speak out against racism in all its forms,” he told the Jewish outlet.

Rich rejected the politicians’ excuses that they didn’t understand what was being said in Arabic, saying that they – and the demonstrations’ organizers – should be held responsible for not stopping the incitement.