Chabad centre at Oxford hit with anti-Semitic incidents

(JTA) — In two anti-Semitic incidents involving the same Jewish community centre in the British university city of Oxford, perpetrators spread white powder and started a fire outside the building.

Talcum powder was flung over the garbage bins at the Chabad Student Centre Wednesday and offensive letters left at the building, the This is Oxforshire daily newspaper reported. On Friday, racist notes were left around the building and a fire was started outside the building.

Police and firefighters raced to the scene after reports of the white powder being thrown. It was analyzed and found to be non-harmful.

Rabbi Eli Brackman, who runs the centre, said he believed the powder was thrown in an attempt to spread panic and fear, with people initially believing it might be a more dangerous substance. He said the centre was concerned but pledged not to be deterred by “displays of hate.”

“We have been touched by the reaction of the community and thankful for the response of the police and emergency services,” he said.

Police have appealed for help from the public in trying to identify the culprits.

On Monday, the Oxford Labour Muslim Network condemned the incidents “in the strongest possible terms,” saying in a post on Facebook that “an attack on one is an attack on all.”

“The only way we oppose this is through unity and solidarity,” the group said, noting that there has been a surge of hate crime in Britain since Brexit and throughout Europe in recent years, with attacks on both the Jewish and Muslim communities.

1 Comment

  1. Elly Bollegraaf says

    I am not at all surprised by the vehement anti-Jewish sentiment and attacks on Jewish property that take place in England from time to time. About 10 years ago, I attended a non-Jewish wedding of a friend, in England, and I was appalled by rhetoric expressed by the presiding Anglican clergyman. This man’s words bothered me sufficiently enough that upon return to Canada, I wrote to him and told him what I thought of his one-sided as well as inappropriate anti-Jewish rhetoric which to me were not at all useful to instill in to his congregants. In short order, I received a return letter from this man, in which he maintained his discriminatory views, while maintaining the strongest support for the “Oppressed Palestinians”, which he so respected and was willing to consider, over anyone else that were involved in the Middle East conflict. I am to the opinion that the hatred periodically expressed against Jews in England, is strongly influenced the Anglican persuasion.

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