Police issue fresh pictures of three men they want to speak with over anti-Semitic Oxford Street attack when yobs abused Jewish teenagers with Nazi salutes and spat at their bus as they celebrated Hanukkah
- Jewish teenagers were targeted in Oxford Street by a gang of anti-Semitic yobs
- Gang performed Nazi salutes and shouted ‘Free Palestine’ during hostile attack
- Police launched hate crime probe and have released new images of wanted men
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Police have shared pictures of three men they want to speak to after Jewish teens were subject to an anti-Semitic attack by a gang of yobs who performed Nazi salutes and spat at their bus.
The attack happened on London’s flagship shopping strip Oxford Street last Monday night.
The group of young Jewish teenagers were celebrating Hanukkah and could be seen dancing, clapping and chanting around 8pm.
Shortly afterwards, they were targeted by a gang of yobs who were seen screaming ‘Free Palestine’ before spitting at the privately hired bus carrying the youngsters as part of a city tour.
Detectives launched an investigation into what they called an ‘appalling’ and ‘deeply upsetting’ attack and are treating it as a hate crime.
The force has now shared new images of men they wish to speak to as part of their enquiries.
Det Insp Kevin Eade, from the local policing team in Westminster, said: ‘Our investigation into this appalling incident continues and we are now in a position to release three clearer images of the men we would like to speak to.
‘Despite extensive enquiries over the past week, we are yet to make any arrests, however I am confident that somebody will recognise the people in these images, and I would urge anyone who does to contact us immediately.’
Footage of the incident went viral last week and the anti-Semitic attack was condemned by the Prime Minister who described it as ‘disturbing’.
Police have shared pictures of three men they want to speak to after Jewish teens were subject to an anti-Semitic attack by a gang of yobs who performed Nazi salutes and spat at their bus
Boris Johnson added: ‘Racism of any kind will never be tolerated in our society and we will continue to do all we can to root it out.’
In the video of the incident on Facebook, none of the yobs’ insults can be heard because they are outside of the bus.
But on board the vehicle, the terrified occupants can be clearly picked up saying: ‘We are all Jewish’.
Community Security Trust (CST), a charity which monitors antisemitic incidents and provides security support to British Jews, said the people on the bus were handing out food on Oxford Street before they were interrupted by the group.
The Met Police would like to speak to this man in connection with an anti-Semitic attack in London’s Oxford Street last week
Dave Rich, CST’s director of policy, said: ‘They were quite frightened that the group who were threatening them were going to physically assault them, they were spitting at them.
‘They were pretty scared and they definitely felt it was because they were Jewish that they’d been targeted, there was absolutely no doubt about that.’
At one point in the video one the yobs takes off one of his shoes and hits it against the side of the transport.
Rabbi Shneor Glitsenstein, director of the Chabad Israeli Centre Golders Green, was with around 40 young Jewish people on the open-top party bus in Oxford Street on Monday when the men shouted and made obscene gestures at them.
He said: ‘Let me be clear – on Monday evening we were attacked on the streets of London for being Jewish and celebrating Hanukkah.
‘While our bus contained no references to Israel, we were clearly a Jewish group.
‘The young men who surrounded us were not engaged in political protest; this was a bigoted anti-Semitic attack in the heart of London, seen by dozens of others, who stood by silently.’
He said: ‘They quickly became aggressive, and began making profane gestures and yelling “Free Palestine!”
‘Just as everyone returned to the bus, the young men began shouting profanities at the group, throwing at least one projectile on the top of the bus, spitting at the bus, and banging on the windows with their shoes.’
Footage showed Jewish teens dancing as they celebrated Hanukkah moments before attack
In the video of the incident on Facebook, the men were seen shouting at the bus of teenagers
The bus then drove off and the ‘Hanukkah party on wheels’ continued, according to the rabbi.
The Met earlier said: ‘The group shown in the video could not be located at the time of the incident and there have been no arrests.
‘The incident is being treated as a hate crime and officers will be assessing the available evidence to identify any possible lines of enquiry.’
Cllr Rachael Robathan, leader of Westminster City Council, and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan also condemned the incident.
Cllr Robathan said: ‘Deeply disturbing scenes of what appears to be an anti-Semitic attack against Jewish teenagers in Oxford Street.
‘We utterly condemn this scenes and I will be raising this with the Met Police. We stand shoulder to shoulder with our Jewish community.’
It is understood the Met is looking at it as a potential racially-aggravated public order offence
Mr Khan said the action of the yobs were completely unacceptable.
He tweeted: ‘Anti-Semitism has no place whatsoever in society and I utterly condemn these disgusting acts. No one should have to experience this.’
The passengers on the bus were from the religious outreach organisation Chabad, which arranges for eight-armed candelabras to be put up around London to mark Hanukkah, Mr Rich said.
‘They had an open-top bus and they’d driven to Oxford Street from north London, but after this happened, they drove home again’, he said, adding that CST is working with the police to support the victims.
Mr Rich said there has been an increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes in the UK.
‘In the first six months of this year, we had the highest number of anti-Semitic incidents ever reported to CST in the first six months of any year’, he said.
The brazen thugs showed little worry of getting into any trouble with the police
In the video the terror of the passengers can be heard as the yobs hit the side of the bus
In a statement, CST said: ‘London is a city where Jewish people must be able to celebrate our festivals and enjoy an open, confident Jewish way of life.
‘This disgusting incident goes against everything this city stands for and should be condemned by all.’
One viewer of the video said: ‘Sorry to read about this..disgusting intolerant scumbags. I hope they are found, arrested and made an example of. Peace.’
Another added: ‘Absolutely disgusting behavior.’
Hanukkah – known as the festival of lights – is an eight-day celebration involving food, prayer and the lighting of a menorah.
It commemorates the Jewish uprising in the second century B.C. against the Greek-Syrian kingdom, which had tried to impose its culture on Jewish people and adorn the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem with statues of Greek gods.
The holiday lasts eight days because according to tradition, when the Jewish people rededicated the Temple in Jerusalem, a single vial of oil, enough for one day, burned miraculously for eight. This year it runs from November 28 until December 6.
For many Jewish people, the holiday symbolizes the triumph of good over evil.
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or quoting 6184/29Nov.
Alternatively, call the Charing Cross Hate Crime Unit direct on 07900 608 252 or email
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