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UK police arrest 2 men they say assaulted rabbi in hate crime

18- and 25-year-old suspects held for ‘religiously aggravated assault’ of Rabbi Rafi Goodwin near his synagogue in Chigwell

A train station in Chigwell, a London-area town where a rabbi was beaten amid antisemitic epithets. (Wikimedia Commons)
A train station in Chigwell, a London-area town where a rabbi was beaten amid antisemitic epithets. (Wikimedia Commons)

JTA — Two men have been arrested in the attack of a rabbi near London in what police called a hate crime.

The suspects, aged 18 and 25, were arrested Monday “in connection with a religiously aggravated assault in Chigwell,” a police spokesperson told The Sun newspaper.

The arrest came a day after the assault of Rabbi Rafi Goodwin near his synagogue. The suspects hurled antisemitic insults at the rabbi, the report said, and allegedly stole his phone.

Goodwin received moderate injuries and was hospitalized.

Rabbi Rafi Goodwin (Courtesy)

Shortly after the incident, Goodwin’s community said in an email to its members that it had no indication his assault had been a hate crime.

On Tuesday, Robert Jenrick, the communities secretary of the UK government, said the assault of Goodwin was part of a major uptick in antisemitic incidents in the country coinciding with hostilities between Hamas and Israel.

Both suspects are from the east London area of Ilford and are being kept in custody, according to The Sun. The report did not say how the suspects have responded to the allegations.

On the day of Goodwin’s assault, multiple cars displaying Palestinian flags drove through Golders Green, a heavily Jewish part of London. One participant in the convoy shouted “F*** their mothers, rape their daughters” through a loudspeaker, among other chants.

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