Mezuzahs Torn From Jewish Homes Near London Amid Sharp Antisemitism Spike

The crumpled parchment from a vandalized mezuzah in Borehamwood, England.

May 20, 2021

Police in England have opened a hate crime investigation after two Jewish homes in the London suburb of Borehamwood were targeted by vandals earlier this week.

In the incidents, which took place on Monday, mezuzahs were torn from the doorframes of the neighboring homes. One of the mezuzahs was found destroyed on the ground nearby, while the other is still missing.

A resident of one of the homes, Martine Stone, told Jewish News she felt “physically sick” after discovering her destroyed mezuzah.

“It had been deliberately sabotaged,” she recalled. “That’s what really upset me, the maliciousness of the act.”

Stone’s neighbor, Suzie Wilson, said her youngest children were “petrified” by what occurred.

“You don’t want to believe it’s a hate crime, but that’s exactly what it is,” she added.

Police are treating the vandalism as a racially-motivated crime.

The local police chief, Mark Bildson, stated, “I would like to make it clear to the local Jewish community that we will not tolerate antisemitism.”

“Please be reassured that thorough enquiries are being carried out to find those responsible and get justice,” he continued. “We have currently got extra patrols in place across Hertsmere [the borough where Borehamwood is located]. Please don’t be afraid to approach us with any concerns when you see us out and about.”

“I would also like to reassure you that we have reported these incidents centrally so that it can feed into the wider intelligence picture across the UK,” he said.

The Community Security Trust (CST) has recorded a 500 percent increase in antisemitic incidents in the UK since the latest outbreak of violence in Israel and the Gaza Strip began a week and a half ago.

This disturbing surge of Jew-hatred has been mirrored around the world.

For a full list of the incidents, a Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) database can be found here.