A group of Neo-Nazis are planning to hold an anti-Semitic rally Saturday in a predominately Jewish suburb of London to protest alleged Jewish control of the capital, according to a new report. Police arrested one of the organizers of the event Friday for "inciting racial hatred," primarily due to a blog post that depicted weed-killer being sprayed over Auschwitz-Birkenau, a notorious concentration camp, reported Jewish News.
The event is set to take place in Golders Green, a British town which houses one-fifth of the United Kingdom's Jewish population and has been viewed as a safe haven for Europe's Jewish communities. The protest of "Jewish privilege" will include "Jewish book burning and Jewish flag destruction," according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. The protest is scheduled to take place on the Jewish Sabbath.
Joshua Bonehill-Paine, the neo-Nazi organizer who was arrested Friday, advertised "Liberate Golders Green: an Anti-Jewification event" in a blog post. "We've become complacent and allowed for weeds to grow in the cracks of London. It's time to clear them out...and liberate Golders Green for future generations of white people. Join us on July 4 for what promises to be an absolute gas," the blog post said, according to the Jewish News. Bonehill-Paine was previously arrested in February for directing anti-Semitic tweets at a Jewish member of Parliament.
The group of roughly 20 to 30 neo-Nazis previously protested in Stamford Hill -- a north London neighborhood which holds Europe's largest ultra-Orthodox community -- in April, according to Haaretz. Anti-Semitic attacks in the United Kingdom reached a new height last year with 1,168 incidents against Jewish people in Britain, more than doubling the number that occurred in the previous year, according to a study by the Community Security Trust.
While members of the community have asked police to ban the rally, their efforts have been turned down in order to protect free speech. Many counterprotests have been planned.
"The far-right isn't a big concern; [it's] much weaker than it used to be in the 1980s," said Stephen Lever, a Jewish man who lives in Golders Green, to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. "But it's still upsetting because it builds on the anti-Semitism that's already out there and compounds that aggression by Muslim extremists."