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Jewish News 29 July 2021

News / Antisemitic messages / Controversial post / Teen charged

ICU staff targeted by antisemitic abuse Staff on an intensive care ward at a top London hospital have allegedly been targeted with “unpleasant and threatening” antisemitic abuse – seemingly from one of their own colleagues, Jewish News can reveal. Critical care staff at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in Bloomsbury have been targeted with the threats alongside antisemitic falsehoods about Jews. Bosses at University College London Hospitals (UCLH) Trust, which runs the hospital, say the culprit behind the “antisemitic” messages appears to work in the hospital and has said Metropolitan Police officers are investigating. The messages were first reported to police in March. In an internal letter exclusively obtained by Jewish News, senior

UCLH officials urged anyone who knows about the antisemitism to come forward, and warned of legal repercussions. “As a team we do not tolerate antisemitism, homophobia, racism, transphobia or any other actions or behaviours which discriminate against others,” they state. “Should we become aware of staff sending such messages this will be investigated as a serious disciplinary matter in line with our policy. “Where appropriate we will refer matters to the Metropolitan Police for their investigation to ensure that individuals responsible are held accountable for their actions. “It is important that we all play our part in taking a stand against antisemitism and all discriminatory behaviour, and we ask that anyone

Critical care staff at UCLH have been sent ‘threatening’ messages

who is subject to, sees or witnesses such behaviour raises their concerns to a member of the senior team.” One employee said: “I went into the medical profession to care for people regardless of creed or colour.


Lord Austin’s post

The Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) has backed a former Labour MP in a row over an allegedly “racist” tweet towards Palestinians. Lord Ian Austin posted an image featuring a tub of ice cream called “terror-misu”, adding: “Ben and Jerry’s have stopped selling ice cream in the West Bank, but they’ve intro-

duced new flavours for Gaza”. His tweet was condemned by Alex Sobel MP and Yachad, but JLC co-chair Claudia Mendoza said: “It is an over-interpretation to claim that Lord Austin’s tweet does anything other than highlight that Gaza is under the de facto control of Hamas, a proscribed terrorist group.”

It’s upsetting to think that someone working in a hospital would choose to be antisemitic.” Another employee said: “What’s happened has been really distressing, but it’s reassuring that

the Trust are taking it seriously, even if it has taken them a long time. It’s had a big impact on staff relationships. People are fed up, and one person has left, they just got too many of the text messages, or perhaps they felt like management wasn’t doing anything.” A police spokesman said: “Officers continue to investigate and are in contact with the complainant.” Management called in police to run a drop-in session last Thursday that was not directly related to the messages but allowed staff to raise “any issues of concern”. The Trust said it started an internal investigation “as soon as we were made aware by the member of our staff involved” and that it was providing “ongoing support” to staff within the team.

Teenager charged over Tube incident A teenager has been charged with a religiously aggravated public order offence in connection with an antisemitic incident inside a London Underground station. British Transport Police said a 17-year-old boy was charged on 23 July following

the incident at Oxford Circus Underground station on 4 July. He has been released on conditional police bail to appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on 2 August. British Transport Police were contacted on 4 July

after a researcher from north London, known only as Yosef, was subjected to “antisemitic behaviour” while travelling through the station. Police are appealing for information about a separate incident involving Yosef while on a bus heading to the station.