'Antisemitic abuse was aimed at me because of my kippah' says faith leader

Phil Rosenberg, co-chair of the Camden Faith Leaders Forum

Phil Rosenberg, co-chair of the Camden Faith Leaders Forum - Credit: Phil Rosenberg

The co-chair of Camden's Faith Leaders Forum has reported that he was a victim of antisemitic abuse – and called for more education about what antisemitism is.

Phil Rosenberg, a former Camden councillor, told this newspaper he was by Finchley Road and Frognal station, wearing a Jewish kippah when he was singled out and targeted by members of a convoy travelling back out of the city. 

He said that around 8.15pm on June 12 a female member of the convoy shouted "Free Palestine" at him, before another beeped a horn at him.

Phil said to him it was clear he had been targeted because he was wearing his kippah. 

"I was standing there wearing a skullcap – and they didn't do it before they got to and saw me, or after."

A similar convoy was seen in May and Phil said he would have liked to have seen the latest directed to use a different route into London to avoid passing through some of the city's most well-known Jewish communities. 

The police escorted the convoy into the city but were not present as it left, and Phil said: "I don't know what more they can do. I think it would have been good to re-route the convoy away from areas of significant Jewish population. 

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"There's clearly a minority who, coming back, saw the opportunity to spout antisemitic abuse." 

He added: "As co-chair of the forum, it's worth noting this incident didn't involve people from our neck of the woods – relations between our Muslim and Jewish communities here are pretty good. 

"But clearly more work needs to be done in terms of educating people.

"All in all it lets down the Palestinian cause when a minority seem to hijack that cause for racist ends. Clearly more needs to be done to drive out antisemitism so we can focus on policy."

The Met said it had received a report of antisemitic abuse being shouted from a car at the time in question and had been in touch with the complainant. Enquiries continue. 

Four people who were arrested on suspicion of a racially-aggravated public order offence after a convoy visited London on May 16 remain on police bail.