Security must be the next government’s watchword

The JC Leader, 28 June 2024


Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) parade in Tehran during a rally for International Quds Day (Photo by Morteza Nikoubazl/NurPhoto)

June 27, 2024 09:20

It is a depressing but entirely understandable thought that – as the JC’s focus groups of Jewish voters show – for many in our community, the prime concern in deciding which party to vote for is security. The Corbyn years seemed at the time to be the nadir of post-War antisemitism; but the explosion of Jew hate since October 7 has been of a different order of magnitude. Whatever government takes office on July 5 will have to move swiftly to demonstrate that it will not tolerate hate on the streets. The previous government talked a good game about zero tolerance but in reality antisemitism was indeed tolerated, most obviously on the regular hate marches. Former Home Secretary Suella Braverman was removed from office for pointing this out.

But security does not just mean tackling domestic issues. The next prime minister may well have to face a Middle East crisis within days of taking office, as war with Hezbollah seems increasingly likely. In recent months we have seen far too clearly how conflict in the Middle East spills over onto British streets. That cannot be allowed to worsen.

Israel is already fighting one Iranian proxy, Hamas, and if it is forced to fight Hezbollah there needs to be honesty about the malign force behind much of the poison in the Middle East. In that context, the Conservatives’ negligent refusal to proscribe the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has been a black mark against them. Proscription of the IRGC is vital for our own security – as Labour has quite rightly said. If Sir Keir Starmer becomes prime minister he can make a serious statement of intent by acting immediately against the IRGC. But he risks undermining such intent by playing to the gallery over recognition of Palestine.

These are worrying times, and it is in everyone’s interests that the next government is stable, serious and secure.

June 27, 2024 09:20

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