Jewish senior assaulted as he left a play about the Holocaust, say police

A man wearing a yarmulke
A man wearing a yarmulke (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Ronnie Phillips was leaving a theatre in London with his wife on 12 August.
  • As he left, he was slapped and had his kippah thrown to the ground.
  • The Metropolitan Police are investigating this as an antisemitic incident.
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Police in London are investigating the antisemitic assault of an elderly man that occurred outside a theatre on 12 August.

Ronnie Phillips, 72, and his wife were attending a showing of Leopoldstadt, a play about the Holocaust. Upon leaving the Charing Cross theatre, he was physically assaulted.

Phillips was “slapped round the head” and had his kippah – also called a yarmulke, a Jewish skull cap – thrown to the ground, according to his wife Emma, who reported the incident to the police, reported the Jewish News.

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The Metropolitan Police told Jewish News that officers attended “Charing Cross Road, WC2 shortly before 22:10hrs on Thursday 12 August to reports of a religiously-aggravated assault.”

A spokesperson for the Community Security Trust, a UK charity working to combat antisemitism that this incident was a “completely inexcusable antisemitic assault on a visibly Jewish man, and all the more distressing because it happened right outside a play about the Holocaust,” reported the Jewish News.

The UK has recently seen a record-high number of antisemitic assaults, with the CST report for the first half of 2021 showing 1,308 antisemitic incidents – almost a 50% increase from the same portion of 2020.

The CST believes that this hate is linked to the increased conflict between Israel and Palestine.