18 May 2021

Four men arrested over alleged anti-Semitic abuse released on bail

18 May 2021

Four men arrested after anti-Semitic abuse was heard being shouted from a car in north London have been released on bail.

Footage on social media showed a convoy of cars covered with Palestinian flags passing down Finchley Road, with passengers being heard to use offensive language and issuing threats against Jews.

The Metropolitan Police said the incident took place in the St John’s Wood area of the city on May 16.

Officers traced the car to the A40 in Hillingdon and four men were arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated public order offences.

The Met said they were also arrested in connection with a “similar incident” that took place shortly after 1.30am on Sunday in the Broughton Park area of Salford, Manchester.

All four have been released on bail “pending further inquiries”, the Met said.

The incident received cross-party criticism, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemning the acts as “shameful racism” that have “no place” in society.

It took place after thousands of people marched through London on Saturday to the gates of the Israeli embassy, while protests took place in other cities across the UK and Ireland in solidarity with the people of Palestine.

Thousands of Palestinians have been forced to flee their homes after a week of sustained conflict.

Since last Monday night, the Palestinian militant group Hamas has fired hundreds of rockets into Israel, whose military responded by barraging the Gaza Strip with tank fire and air strikes.

In response to reports of anti-Semitic abuse, Mr Johnson said: “There is no place for anti-Semitism in our society.

“Ahead of Shavuot, I stand with Britain’s Jews who should not have to endure the type of shameful racism we have seen today.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer described the incident as “utterly disgusting”.

“Anti-Semitism, misogyny and hate have no place on our streets or in our society,” he said.

“There must be consequences.”

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox