A Neo-Nazi group has announced plans for a demonstration in a north London neighborhood that is home to Europe's largest Orthodox Jewish community.
The racist group, calling itself "Liberate Stamford Hill," says the rally is to oppose the "Jewification" of the UK, and particularly to protest Stamford Hill's local "Shomrim" neighborhood watch initiative.
The protest's organizers point to an incident last year in which signs requesting men and women to stand on opposite sides of the street were left over from a Torah scroll dedication ceremony – which some residents mistook as being aimed at the general public, causing some controversy – as "proof" that Shomrim were attempting to implement "Talmudic law" in the area.
"We are demonstrating against the illegal and unlawful Shomrim Police that are enforcing talmudic law on British streets," read an announcement on one of several Facebook pages advertising the demo. "These armed thugs are impersonating our police yet they have not been arrested in doing so, in fact, they are supported by the Metropolitan police. In Stamford Hill, Whites are openly spat at in the street and made to feel as if they are Second-Class citizens in their own country, we say ENOUGH White Man, It's time we fightback!"
Contrary to the statement, however, Shomrim are not armed at all and coordinate closely with local police – even receiving praise for their work from local police chiefs. The volunteer initiative – which exists in several other Jewish communities in the UK and US – exists solely as a response to concerns over rising crime in the area.
The event's poster claims to show a menacing-looking "Shomrim" volunteer, but is in fact a scene from Woody Allen's spoof movie "Faded Gigolo" featuring actor Liev Schreiber.
Arutz Sheva has discovered that the "Liberate Stamford Hill" group is in fact a front for the "National British Resistance," one of several small far-right splinter factions formed in recent years following the collapse of the English Defense League (EDL).
Ironically – considering the accusations of "impersonating police officers" – the man behind the rally is the NBR's founder Joshua Bonehill, who was himself charged over an incident in 2011 in which he broke into a police station while drunk, assaulted an officer and attempted to steal a police uniform.
Bonehill has also been investigated by police for his involvement in a concerted anti-Semitic harassment campaign against Jewish Labor MP Luciana Berger. He is due to be sentenced on February 5 for that together with another case, on charges including malicious communications, harassment and incitement of racial hatred against a member of parliament – meaning it is possible he won't actually make his own demonstration, which is scheduled for late March.
The planned event has already drawn condemnation from public figures and politicians, including Berger herself, as well as interest from a handful of British White Supremacists.
One prominent British Jewish activist told Arutz Sheva that the rally – which is expected to attract no more than a handful of anti-Semites – has already been reported to the police, and that there was talk of a "peaceful counter-demonstration" in response.
Anti-fascist groups have also warned of a response, but the rally's organizers have vowed it will go ahead even though they will likely be heavily outnumbered.
"We certainly can't promise a Nuremberg rally, the budget just doesn't cover that much just yet," read one comment.
"The Jews are mobilising an Anti-White army against us," read another. "We welcome the opposition, any chance to show how both the Left-Wing and Jews are working hand-in-hand is an opportunity to be taken advantage of."
News of the planned rally comes amid growing concern over anti-Semitism in the UK and Europe in general, primarily from Muslim extremists but also from elements of the far-left and right.