Horror as ‘sickening’ antisemitic graffiti sprayed in Hampstead including next to synagogue

PUBLISHED: 12:14 29 December 2019 | UPDATED: 15:31 29 December 2019

Antisemitic graffiti on Oddbins. Picture: Ian Cohen

Antisemitic graffiti on Oddbins. Picture: Ian Cohen

Ian Cohen

Police are investigating after antisemitic graffiti was daubed over several locations in Hampstead, including next to South Hampstead Synagogue.

Antisemitic graffiti on a wall next to South Hampstead Synagogue in Eton Road. Picture: Oliver CooperAntisemitic graffiti on a wall next to South Hampstead Synagogue in Eton Road. Picture: Oliver Cooper

Warning: Offensive images

Locals reported the graffiti to Scotland Yard and the Community Safety Trust (CST) on Saturday night (December 28).

The graffiti, making reference to an antisemitic trope about the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, was painted on Oddbins, the former Cafe Hampstead site, and a phone box in Rosslyn Hill.

The slurs were also painted over a phone box in Belsize Park and on a wall next to South Hampstead Synagogue in Eton Road.

The graffiti was sprayed around Hampstead. Picture: James SoreneThe graffiti was sprayed around Hampstead. Picture: James Sorene

There have been no arrests.

The graffiti comes as the Jewish festival of Hanukkah draws to a close on Monday night.

Both of Camden's MPs, Tulip Siddiq and Sir Keir Starmer along with the leader of Camden Council, Georgia Gould, have condemned the crime as "deeply distressing."

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In a joint statement, they added: "We stand together with all of our Jewish residents and our whole community in saying these cowardly pedlars of hate do not represent Camden and our values. We are proud to have a strong, vibrant Jewish community as part of our beautiful borough."

Work has been underway to remove the graffiti, and council staff's efforts will continue into tomorrow.

Hampstead Town councillor Oliver Cooper told this newspaper: "I've had to report anti-Semitic graffiti in Hampstead a number of times before, but this level of hatred is unprecedented. I never thought I'd wake up to see Hampstead like this.

"I've spent two hours walking the streets to find and report all the locations, and I've been close to tears just witnessing and documenting it. One Jewish neighbour has even compared these events to the horrors of Kristallnacht.

"This hate presents an existential threat to Britain's Jewish community and is a moral crisis unlike any other facing our country."

Insp Kev Hailes said: "This is clearly a concerning incident and one we are taking seriously.

"We have liaised with our partners in order to remove the graffiti and various enquiries are under way to find who is responsible.

"Officers will be on patrol throughout the area in order to provide some reassurance to local communities. Please approach us if you have any questions or concerns.

"I ask anyone who might have seen anything suspicious last night to call us and aid the investigation."

Anyone with any information should contact the Met on 101, quoting crime reference number 7282 of December 28 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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