Rabbi 'feels less safe' after Kingston synagogue worshippers branded 'child murderers'

Kingston synagogue in Uxbridge Road

Kingston synagogue in Uxbridge Road

First published in News
Last updated
Surrey Comet: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

The rabbi of a Kingston synagogue has said he feels less safe after finding a sign calling worshippers "child murderers" was stuck up outside the building.

Rabbi Samuel Landau, 26, arrived at Kingston, Surbiton and District Synagogue in Uxbridge Road on Tuesday morning to find the note written in black capital letters on A4 paper stuck on the front door.

Surrey Comet:

The offensive sign posted on the door of Kingston synagogue

The married father-of-one said: "When the distinction between Palestine and Israel motivates you to behave in such a way – with no thought to debate or discussion – I think that is worrying."

The long-standing Israel-Palestine conflict has escalated in recent weeks.

More than 1,400 people have been killed, mainly Palestinians living in Gaza.

Rabbi Landau added: “I am disappointed the society we live in is not able to process and think things through and tars everybody with the same brush.

"I feel less safe."

Kingston police were called to reports of offensive material outside the synagogue at 11am on Tuesday.

Inspector Charlie Aitken, from Kingston police, said: "We take all reports of religious or racial hate crime very seriously – as a result this matter will be thoroughly investigated.

"The secured evidence has been taken for forensic examination which we hope will lead us to the identity of the perpetrator or perpetrators."

He added door-to-door and CCTV enquiries had already taken place.

Rabbi Landau, a trainee clinical psychologist who presides over Sabbaths through the week, said: "It is not something out of the blue.

"I look like a Jew when I walk down the road in Kingston and several people have shouted out of their car at me, so this does not seem out of place."

He said offensive material had previously been put up outside the synagogue some years before when Israel had been involved in previous conflicts.

Extra security and police patrols had been put in place since Tuesday, he added.

John Azah, chairman at charity Kingston Race and Equalities Council, said: "One hate crime is one hate crime too many. It is not acceptable.

"We need to separate what is happening from a political perspective from what is happening in Kingston.

"It’s incomprehensible somebody would have the audacity to attack any community."

No one has been arrested in connection with the offence.

  • Anyone with information should contact Kingston police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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