Mystery Surrounds London Kosher Café Attack

Just days after a Parliamentary report on anti-Semitism in the UK, the windows of a London-area kosher restaurant were smashed.


Photo: dserg/Shutterstock

Windows of a kosher restaurant outside of London were smashed just days after Parliament released a report detailing anti-Semitism in the UK. Orli Caffe in Edgware was one of several businesses attacked Wednesday evening, and officials are not yet certain whether anti-Semitism was a motive. Police are also investigating hate mail sent to a Jewish executive of the BBC.

Orli Caffe was attacked at 5:30 PM by what some witnesses believed to be gunfire. The police determined that the windows were actually shattered by a projectile thrown from a vehicle. A Met spokesman said, “There have been four incidents across Edgware and Barnet of windows being smashed by a projectile of some sort, some people think it is a marble. There is no obvious motive. We are trying to establish if it was a vehicle or vehicles.”

The Community Security Trust (CST), a grassroots organization dedicated to maintaining the safety of British Jews, confirmed on Twitter: “Initial investigation suggests firearm not used at Edgware kosher restaurant, may be linked to other non-antisemitic incident in area.” The CST announced last week that the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the UK had doubled in 2014 to 1,168.

New Report Details Spike in UK Anti-Semitism

UK anti-Semitism report.

UK anti-Semitism report.

The incident comes mere days after the release of the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism. The report studied trends in anti-Semitic incidents and hate speech in the UK and made a number of suggestions to improve the safety of British Jewry. It noted that the Arab-Israeli conflict is often used as a pretext for anti-Semitic actions.

BBC television chief Danny Cohen told Jewish News, a British Jewish newspaper, that the police are investigating an anti-Semitic email he received during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza. Cohen spoke out against anti-Semitism in a December speech at the Cinematheque in Jerusalem, saying he had “never felt so uncomfortable being a Jew in the UK.” This statement generated a further deluge of hate mail.