On London’s iconic Oxford Street—a short walk from Buckingham Palace—a new menorah was lit Sunday evening, with all eight flames burning. The menorah-lighting joins more than 200 public menorah-lightings across the United Kingdom

But this one is distinct.

On Nov. 29, as Jews in London were kindling the second light of Chanukah, a bus filled with Jewish young people from London’s Golders Green neighborhood was winding its way through the city streets. On board were 40 celebrants, together with Rabbi Shneor Glitsenstein of the Chabad Israeli Center of Golders Green. The tour of the city included stops at Oxford Street, Big Ben and the London Eye before returning to the Golders Green neighborhood in the city’s northwest section.

The atmosphere on the bus was “electric,” Glitsenstein told Chabad.org, and the young Britons were having a great time. At Oxford Street, they got out and began dancing on the sidewalk in a spontaneous display of Jewish pride. Three young Middle Eastern men nearby began playing Arabic music and dancing next to them. Not before long, the men became aggressive, making obscene gestures and yelling “Free Palestine!”

Trying to avoid confrontation, the Chabad group returned to their bus. As they did so, the Arab men began shouting profanities at them, and at least one projectile was lobbed at the bus while they were spitting and trying to smash the windows. The commotion attracted many bystanders on the busy street, none of whom attempted to protect their fellow citizens or otherwise intervene. “Our Chanukah party on wheels continued on its route, and the rest of the event went on with joy,” said Glistenstein, noting that he has been in touch with the relevant authorities and thanked them for their assistance.

“Let me be clear,” he said in a statement. “On Monday evening, we were attacked on the streets of London for being Jewish and celebrating Chanukah. While our bus contained no references to Israel, we were clearly a Jewish group. The young men who surrounded us were not engaged in political protest; this was a bigoted antisemitic attack in the heart of London, seen by dozens of others who stood by silently.”

An Increase in Light and Positivity

Outrage over the attack was swift, with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling the viral footage of the attack “disturbing,” adding that “racism of any kind will never be tolerated in our society, and we will continue to do all we can to root it out.” London Mayor Sadiq Khan condemned the “vile incident” while noting that London’s metropolitan police were investigating it as a hate crime.

For Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Yisroel Lew, the response wouldn’t be complete without an increase in light and positivity. Lew, co-director of Chabad Lubavitch of Bloomsbury-Central London, where the attack took place, arranged for the menorah to be lit on the last night of Chanukah—when all its eight lights are kindled—at the very spot where the happy Chanukah dance had been cut short.

As some of the young Jews on the bus returned to the site, accompanied by Glitsenstein, Lew, several Parliament members and other dignitaries, the dancing continued once again, showing the world the Chanukah light cannot and will not be extinguished.