Only those who have been asleep for the past nine weeks will have been surprised by Met Assistant Commissioner Matt Jukes’s warning to the Home Affairs Select Committee that there is a “real risk” of a terror attack. Every week sees increasingly brazen displays of antisemitism on the streets and in social media. It is no wonder that on Tuesday, Mr Jukes told MPs that the force was seeing “red lights blinking everywhere”.
As we report this week, the police has had to warn people and businesses of threats to their safety simply for displaying the names and faces of hostages being held by Hamas.
In this atmosphere, it is understandable that many of us feel that discretion is the better part of valour and opt out of anything we feel might be somehow dangerous, whether that is attending a Jewish event or even wearing a kippah or a Magen David. But we need to find our courage. Modern history has shown us the limitations of keeping our heads down and hoping it all will pass. If we degrade ourselves voluntarily, we are letting their hate win.
Some of the threats are imaginary and others are real. Either way, we must live our lives with resolve and with pride. Over the past week there have been Chanukah lightings across the country. None have been attacked. We need to be alert, but it is a mistake to give in to fear. We must also be determined to show, now of all times, that we are proud to be Jewish and proud to be British.