Met Police Criticized for Threatening “Openly Jewish” Man

Met Police Criticized for Threatening "Openly Jewish" Man
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London (Parliament News) – Metropolitan Police faces criticism after threatening to arrest Gideon Falter, openly Jewish, near a pro-Palestine rally in London. Falter decries lack of safety for Jews during such events.

The chair of a charity combatting antisemitism expressed that the Metropolitan Police is letting “no-go zones for Jews” after footage revealed him being intimidated with an arrest near a pro-Palestine march.

According to the Standard, Gideon Falter, chief executive of the Campaign Against Antisemitism, was sporting a kippah skull cap when he was prevented from crossing the road near the protest in the Aldwych area of London on Saturday afternoon.

What sparked criticism against the Metropolitan Police?

The video clip, which was published on social media, indicated Mr Falter being told by police that he was “quite openly Jewish” and pushing a “breach of peace”.Mr Falter stated he had been walking in the capital after observing the synagogue and was not there to counter-protest.

The footage displayed one police officer saying: “You are quite openly Jewish, this is a pro-Palestinian march, I’m not accusing you of anything but I’m worried about the reaction to your presence.”

Another officer said: “There’s a unit of people here now.

“You will be escorted out of this area so you can go about your business, go where you want freely or if you choose to remain here because you are causing a breach of peace with all these other people, you will be arrested.”

The clip showed the officer stating that Mr Falter’s presence was “antagonising”.

Scotland Yard responded that it is aware of the footage and fully acknowledges “the worry it has caused”.

Why did Gideon Falter express concern?

Mr Falter stated: “Despite being told repeatedly that London is safe for Jews when these marches are taking place, my dealings with police officers last Saturday show that the Met believes that being openly Jewish will torment the anti-Israel marchers and that Jews need protection, which the police cannot guarantee.

“Instead of handling that threat of antisemitic violence, the Met’s policy appears to be that law-abiding Jewish Londoners should not be in the parts of London where these marches are taking place. In other words, that they are no-go zones for Jews.”

Mr Falter expressed he will be stepping into London on April 27, adding that no part of the capital should be unsafe.

Tens of thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters assembled in London last Saturday to call for a ceasefire and encourage the Government to stop all arms sales to Israel. Gatherings waved Palestinian flags, chanted “free Palestine” and held posters calling for a “ceasefire now” and a stop to arms sales.

Will safety concerns for Jews be addressed?

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson stated: “We are conscious of this video and fully acknowledge the worry it has generated, not only to those featured but also anyone who oversees it and will review the circumstances.

“We have always stated that we recognise the battle between Israel and Hamas continues to be an issue of worry for many Londoners, and this includes the regular protests and demonstrations in central London. Everyone has the right to travel throughout the capital in protection. We will encounter with anyone who wishes to arrange a march or protest ahead of April 27.”

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.