UK police issues apology after officer’s ‘openly Jewish’ comment at pro-Palestine protest News
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UK police issues apology after officer’s ‘openly Jewish’ comment at pro-Palestine protest

The UK Metropolitan Police issued an apology on Friday after one officer referred to Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) chief executive Gideon Falter as “openly Jewish” at a pro-Palestinian protest and described his presence as provocative.

In a video published by the CAA, the police officer did not allow Falter to cross the road “because of the march” and told him that his presence was provocative because he was being “openly Jewish.” Falter was wearing a kippah and the officer said he was “worried about the reaction to your presence.” The group was also told they would be arrested if they failed to leave.

The statement published by the Met read:

The use of the term “openly Jewish” by one our officers is hugely regrettable. We know it will have caused offence to many. We reiterate our apology… Being Jewish is not a provocation. Jewish Londoners must be able to feel safe in this city. Our commitment to protection the public extends to all communities across London.

The Met initially published a statement regarding the incident where they stated opponents of pro-Palestinian protests “must know that their presence is provocative,” but removed it due to the offence it further caused.

Calls for the head of the Metropolitan police, Sir Mark Rowley, to resign or to be fired were issued by the CAA, the former home secretary Suella Braverman and other Ministers because of the handling of the protests. Braverman stated “[t]wo-tier policing has now reached the stage where a Jewish person cannot cross the road. We’ve had countless mistakes & apologies. We don’t need more speeches. Enough is enough. Someone needs to take responsibility.”

The UK government welcomed the apology, saying it recognized the “complexities of policing fast-moving public protests,” but that no one affiliated to any religion should be regarded as provocative.