Antisemitic comment at Shenley Zoom meeting

Shenley - The chairman of a parish council says antisemitism "will not be tolerated" after a meeting he was chairing was interrupted by a hateful comment from a member of the public.

An attendee was immediately kicked out of Shenley Parish Council's meeting on Zoom last night after they posted 'Burn the Jews' in capital letters into the chat box.

The incident, which was witnessed by nearly 80 people, including parish councillors, the council clerk, the leader of Hertsmere Borough Council, borough councillors, and the public, has been reported to the police and the Community Security Trust.

Chairman of the parish council, William Susman, who had been speaking at the time, told the Times after the meeting ended: "We take pride in Shenley being a friendly, welcoming and inclusive community.

"I was shocked when the meeting was interrupted by this vile individual spouting such religious and antisemitic hatred.

"Ironically, this came after the meeting was opened by Reverend Daniel McCarthy who had addressed the community with a message of peace and loving kindness, urging us to treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves."

The message appeared in the chat box and popped
up on the main screen as well. Credit: Zoom
Cllr Susman continued: "Our very experienced clerk was quickly able to eject this awful person from the meeting room and disable the chat function, whereby our meeting was able to successfully continue.

"This type of hate crime will simply not be tolerated and has no place in Shenley, or frankly anywhere in the world.

"It has been reported to the Police, the Community Security Trust and Zoom, who I am sure will track down the individual concerned and bring them to justice."

It is thought the person who made the antisemitic comment had registered to watch the meeting under a pseudonym.

A spokesperson for Hertfordshire Constabulary said: "Police are investigating an incident of malicious communications and hate crime in Shenley.

"It was reported that between 7pm and 7.30pm last night (Tuesday 16 March) an antisemitic comment was made on a text chat during an online Shenley Parish Council meeting.

"Any report to police will be taken seriously and dealt with sensitively."

Photo Credit: Stephen Gafson