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London Police Search for Assailant in Disturbing Antisemitic Assault

Police in London on Friday revealed shocking details of an antisemitic assault on a 20-year-old Jewish man earlier this month at a train station in the British capital.

The assault occurred outside West Hampstead overground station in north London on Dec. 2, during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. The victims was approached by a male assailant who shouted antisemitic comments at him after he  allegedly damaged a festive Hanukkah display, police said.

According to the London-based Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA), the assailant told his victim “you look Jewish” and that he “wanted to kill his first Jew.” The suspect then “assaulted the victim whilst intimating he was in possession of a knife before leaving the scene,” according to the police.

Priti Patel, the UK Home Secretary, condemned what she described as a “seriously disturbing antisemitic incident.”

Stephen Silverman, CAA’s director of investigations and enforcement, told The Guardian that “what this victim suffered is unspeakable.”

Silverman added that the assault “is the most heinous of a considerable number of antisemitic crimes that we have reported over the course of Hanukkah. The sad truth is that our nation’s capital is not nearly as safe as it should be for Jewish people who wish to celebrate a festival or, in this case, simply go about their daily lives.”

The Community Security Trust, which helps secure the British Jewish community, disclosed earlier this month that it had received 30 reports of antisemitic hatred during the recent festival of Hanukkah, including assaults, verbal abuse, and the destruction of public menorahs.