(JTA) – Four haredi Orthodox Jews from London, including a mother and her 13 year-old son, were pelted with gas canisters by at least one man who yelled “Heil Hitler” at them from a moving car.
Police apprehended a suspect, 19-year-old Patrick Delaney, who admitted to participating in the attack last week in Tottenham in northern London, the London Economic reported Thursday. But charges were dropped against two individuals who were with Delaney in the car, including his brother.
Delaney acknowledged involvement in the attack, in which small canisters containing laughing gas were thrown at Cheya Stern, her son, her brother Simon Lemberger and a passerby, Abraham Law. According to reports, the men in the vehicle also shouted “Hitler is on the way to you, Heil Hitler, Heil Hitler, Heil Hitler,” according to The Jewish Chronicle.
Shulem Stern, from the Jewish defence group Shomrim, said: “They were just going about their daily life but they were scared about what would happen next. Jewish people have to face this anti-Semitism on a daily basis and visibly Jewish people are often targeted.”
Delaney admitted to racially aggravated harassment and will be sentenced at Wood Green Crown Court next month, The Chronicle reported.
Delaney’s brother, Francis Delaney, 23, and Michael Doherty, 25, had also been accused of involvement in the incident, but the prosecution dropped the charges for lack of proof.
Judge Witold Pawlak told the pair: “Be careful who you keep company with. You may have had a lucky escape, I don’t know, and I hope you learn from this experience about how careful you need to be about getting involved in cruel and unpleasant jokes at other people’s expense.”
Separately, the Oxford University Student Union, in a statement this week, acknowledged that anti-Semitism is a problem at the university and vowed to address it.
“We would like to express our commitment to tackling anti-Semitism” and “remind students of the support structures in place” for dealing with the issue, the statement read.
The statement added: “We would particularly like to acknowledge concerns raised specifically over the National Union of Students and the Oxford University Labour Club.”
In 2014, African rights activist Zuleyka Shahin, during a failed campaign for president of the Oxford Union, wrote on Facebook that “Judeo-Christian white men” and “Zio white men” are “complicit in the funding of wars and the social genocide of my people.”
Reports that students of the Labour club in 2015 sang about “rockets over Tel Aviv” and harassed Jewish students prompted Alex Chalmers to resign as the club’s president and focused intense media scrutiny on anti-Semitism within the Labour party under its leader Jeremy Corbyn. A critic of Israel who has called Hezbollah and Hamas his “friends” – a remark he last year said he regrets – Corbyn was accused of ignoring anti-Semitism within Labour by leaders of British Jewry. Corbyn has denied the accusation, vowing to discipline any member responsible for any form of xenophobia.
Four of Oxford’s six delegates to Britain’s National Student Union last year said their university should disaffiliate from the national group following the election of Malia Bouatia as its president. Bouatia, a student at the University of Birmingham, is accused of justifying violence against Israelis and opposing a motion to condemn the Islamic State terror group lest it stigmatize Muslims. She also blamed the “Zionist-led media” for oppression in the global south.