The United Kingdom has been infected with an ideology of hatred towards Israel and the Jewish people that has been allowed to fester and grow for far too long. Our police have failed to act and we are now seeing the terrifying results of that.
In May 2021, a group of British Palestinian supporters drove a convoy of cars adorned in Palestinian flags through North London areas, particularly targeting Jewish areas. During their protest a man was heard shouting, “F*** the Jews, F*** their mothers. Rape their daughters. We have to send a message.”
The hatred on display was shocking. Then Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared “there is no place for antisemitism in our society” in a direct response to this incident. Despite strong calls for action from all sides, police took little action. Four people were briefly arrested, but all were released shortly after. Police did not press any charges.
These racist thugs likely hold the same Islamist ideology of Hamas. Their call to rape Jewish women in London in 2021 to “send a message” was exactly what happened when Hamas terrorists murdered, raped and kidnapped Israeli men, women and children in the kibbutzim of Israel this October. The extremism of Hamas in Gaza is the same extremism in London.
Since the 7 October massacre by Hamas, the UK is seeing the ongoing failure of our police to deal with antisemitism and the radical ideologies that fuel terrorism against Israel and hatred towards the Jewish people. As a result we have seen an increase of antisemitism in this country. The Metropolitan Police recorded a 1,350% increase in antisemitic incidents in London in the weeks following the 7 October massacres. The Community Security Trust (CST) reported over 1,000 antisemitic incidents in the month following the atrocities, meaning there were 36 antisemitic incidents per day in London, and they estimate that many more incidents are not reported at all.
Jewish communities have been targeted with anti-Israel graffiti. Jewish commuters have been harassed and attacked on public transport or beaten unconscious in the street. Jewish businesses in London have been targeted by anti-Israel protesters. Hanukkah events have been cancelled because councils cannot ensure Jewish people’s safety. Countless posters highlighting the plight of Israeli children held hostage by Hamas have been ripped down by heartless bigots throughout the UK (and beyond) because they don’t want to allow any sympathy for the Jewish people, or they don’t even believe any Israelis have been kidnapped because they are under the delusion of anti-Israel propaganda.
Shamefully, the actions of police have contributed to this. There are videos of people ripping down these hostage posters and claiming they are doing the right thing because there are videos of police doing the same thing. It should be pointed out that it is not the job of police to remove posters or graffiti. However, because of the tensions, some police officers have seemingly tried to appease those who hate Israel and took action into their own hands instead of notifying the local council. Their disgraceful action of removing these posters has resulted in more hatred.
Likewise, police inaction has also contributed to this. Leaders of established anti-Israel organisations have openly supported Hamas’s terrorism, which is a crime in the UK. Despite this, nothing has been done towards them. They are still leading mass protests and sharing platforms with elected politicians. Open support for Hamas can happen meters away from a police officer and nothing will happen. When people see no action being taken it encourages further displays of antisemitism and more brazen displays of Hamas support. It fuels the hatred.
Police also failed to act against the genocidal calls of Palestinian supporters with their “From the River to the Sea” chants, which is an open call for the destruction of Israel. Activists claimed this was not a call for violence and police did nothing. Protesters started calling for “Jihad”, which again they claimed was a peaceful call to action and police did nothing about. Now anti-Israel protesters are chanting for “intifada”. Again, activists are claiming “intifada” is peaceful (which is again a fallacy) and police are doing little against these calls. The only time they acted was when activists illegally occupied a London theatre and placed a sign reading, “Globalise the Intifada,” upon it. Maybe this was the straw that broke the camels back, but police should have acted much sooner to stem the flow of hatred.
When the police fail to enforce the law it encourages lawlessness. When the police fail to counter antisemitism it encourages antisemitism. The police have a responsibility to act.
Another result of this increase in hatred in the UK is that Israel’s National Security Council has issued travel warnings for Israelis, increasing the threat level in the UK, France, Germany and other European countries, from level 1 to level 2. This means that Israelis are being told to “exercise increased precaution” when visiting the UK. Jews are advised to avoid wearing jewellery or religious items that identify them as Jewish and to monitor where anti-Israel protests are taking place so they can avoid those areas and to avoid attending pro-Israel and even sometimes Jewish events.
What a shameful state the UK is in when Jewish citizens of Britain are fearful of being themselves in their own country. What a disgrace it is when Israelis are advised to hide who they are when visiting our country which prides itself on being welcome to all.
We have focused on the police failure to tackle antisemitism and support for terror, but it’s not just the police, this is a failure on multiple levels. We have seen antisemitic and anti-Israel hatred permeating all aspects of British society; our politics, our media, our educational institutions, our religious institutions, our law enforcement, and more. There is a catastrophic failure on all levels which is fuelling hatred towards the Jewish people. Even now too little is being done to address this.
Britain must wake up. The British public must stand up against antisemitism before it is too late. Our Jewish neighbours need us to act now.