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Man Beaten 30 Times In Three Years For Being Jewish

| by John Freund
Londoner beaten and home vandalizedLondoner beaten and home vandalized

London is known as a cosmopolitan city; a melting pot of ethnic, religious and racial backgrounds. But that hasn't kept some of its citizens safe from racially-motivated acts of violence.  

Yisro'el Shalom, 52, is a Londoner, widower, and former comedian of Jewish descent, the Daily Express reports. According to Shalom, he has been the target of anti-Semitic attacks for years -- 30 attacks in three years, to be precise.  

Shalom used to live in Newham, east London, where he reportedly suffered numerous attacks including getting beaten up and having swastikas spray-painted over his home.  

"After the graffiti attack I only ever went out for Shabbat [Sabbath or holy day] to the synagogue," Shalom recalled, according to the Daily Express.  " ... All my doors and windows were double-locked and I spent four months ordering food online, and just walking from room to room." 

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Shalom was even forced to wear a stab-proof vest and put a metal gate and iron bars over his home to protect himself.

"I couldn't even put music on because I needed to hear if anybody was trying to get into the house," Shalom said.

Anti-Semitism is a hot-button issue in the United Kingdom, with London mayor Ken Livingstone and Bradford West MP Naz Shah being suspended from the Labour party for controversial remarks they made about Israel, BBC reports. 

Hate crimes in the U.K. are up 18 percent, with 52,528 reported incidents during the 2014-15 year, as compared to 44,471 reported incidents i 2013-14.  According to police, 80 percent of these crimes are racially motivated.  

For Shalom, those figures hit all too close to home.

"When you see these things, we are at the beginning of what we said 'never again' to 70 years ago," he said, referring to the common declaration among Jews in reference to the Holocaust, the Daily Express reports. 

Shalom has since moved to Finchley, a less hostile part of London. But he fears he is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) since the spate of attacks.  

London's Metropolitan Police said the number of anti-Semitic crimes reported in Newham -- Shalom's former neighborhood, where the attacks took place -- have doubled since 2015.

"We will not tolerate hate crime and take positive action to investigate all allegations, support victims and arrest offenders," a spokesman for the Met Police said.  

Unfortunately, that assurance comes too little, too late for Shalom. 

"I'm supposed to be able to walk down any damn street that I want in this country," he said, "but sadly that's just not how it is."

Sources:  Daily Express, BBC / Photo Credit: Archant via Daily Express

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