Met Police threaten to arrest ‘openly Jewish’ man in London for walking near pro-Palestine march

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Photo: X/@antisemitism

The Met Police have been accused of allowing no-go zones for Jews in London, according to claims made by Gideon Falter, head of the Campaign Against Antisemitism.

Last Saturday, Falter, who was wearing a kippah skull cap, was stopped by officers in the Aldwych area while walking with friends after attending synagogue. He encountered a pro-Palestinian march and was informed by police that his presence as a Jew could provoke tensions among the marchers.

Video footage of the exchange was uploaded to social media, where Falter was told he couldn’t cross the road during the march. He was warned that remaining in the area could result in arrest for causing a breach of the peace.

Falter expressed disbelief at the situation, stating that merely being openly Jewish shouldn’t be controversial in London. He criticised what he perceives as the Metropolitan Police’s policy of effectively creating no-go zones for Jewish Londoners during such marches, rather than addressing the threat of antisemitic violence. Falter emphasised that his concern lies with the Met’s overall approach to these weekly events, suggesting that officers are placed in challenging situations due to the lack of resources to manage protests where criminal behavior, including racism and violence, is observed.

Falter says that after six months of marches making Jews feel unsafe, the Met should take action and has called on the Met Commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, to use existing powers under the Public Order Act to curb or ban these marches. Falter has urged accountability from Rowley, as well as from Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London.

Mr Falter says:

“Sir Mark Rowley has the distinction of presiding over the worst surge in antisemitic criminality in our capital city since records began. For months, his approach to policing has abjectly failed both London’s Jewish community and our country.

“CAA polling now finds that 69% of British Jews feel the need to hide their identity in public, and 90% say that they would avoid the centre of town when an anti-Israel protest is taking place. Synagogues in central London now require the presence of dozens of officers backed by police vans to operate when marches are taking place.

Under his [Sir Mark Rowley’s] leadership, the inaction of the Met Police has prompted a national debate about the extremism exhibited on our streets. He has explained away open calls for jihad shouted on our streets and the beaming of a slogan calling for genocide on Big Ben.”

In response, a Met spokesman acknowledged the concern raised by the video and stated that they recognise the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, which includes regular protests and marches in central London. The spokesman affirmed everyone’s right to travel safely throughout the capital and expressed willingness to meet with anyone organising a march or protest ahead of April 27.

The Met spokesman said:

“We are aware of this video and fully acknowledge the worry it has caused, not only to those featured, but also anyone who watches it, and will review the circumstances.

“We have always said that we recognise the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues to be an issue of concern for many Londoners, and this includes the regular protests and marches in central London.

“Everyone has the right to travel throughout the capital in safety. We will meet and discuss with anyone who wishes to organise a march or protest ahead of April 27.”

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