A Jewish monument in Birmingham has been attacked by a Neo-Nazi group which filmed its supporters in the act of intimidation. Hiding their identities from the camera, the group’s video on YouTube shows the extremists defacing the gates of Cannon Hill Park with anti-Jewish graffiti and hanging a swastika on the Menorah.
The Menorah, a seven branched candle stand used in Jewish worship, is maintained by the local Chasidic Lubavitch who form part of Birmingham’s wider Jewish community. It has been lit during festivals celebrated by the city’s 3,000 Jews for many years.
Police have issued an appeal for any information about the vandals, however their use of latex gloves and blurred faces in the four minute video has complicated the task of identification. Speaking to Jewish News a Community Security Trust (CST) spokesman said: “CST is aware of this disgusting and cowardly attack. We ask any witnesses to contact the Police immediately.”
The group claiming responsibility for the religiously aggravated attack is National Action, a self-described “National Socialist youth organisation.” On their website they claim to target the “broken right-wing” of politics, urging them to adopt an alternative and warning that until they do those on the right “can blow dead goats for all we care.” The group’s Twitter uses the phrase “Nationalist & Socialist – Against Capitalism & Communism.” Maintaining the political theme the video shows members of the group spray-painting a Jewish Star of David onto the park gates, with the caption “bankers” and ”1%”.
A year ago the Mirror reported that National Action was viewed by anti-terror police as a potential threat to national security. More recently it reported that after the Islamist attacks on Charlie Hebdo in January, the group released a photoshopped image of murdered editor-in-chief and cartoonist Stephane Charbonnier with the caption “like and share if you think this f***** got what he deserved.”
Maggie Suissa, campaigns director for the Union of Jewish Students, responded to the vandalism saying:
“It’s disgusting but dishearteningly this isn’t surprising. Jewish people need reassurance, genuine security and the promise from counter terrorism that this group will not continue to get away with spreading their Nazi hatred.”