We stand with Israel and with the Jewish community here

The safety of the Jewish community in the UK is an absolute priority

October 11, 2023 10:57

Our support for the Jewish community is unwavering.

The terrorist atrocities that happened in Sderot, Be’eri, Ofakim and Re'im were monstrous. Your anger and your pain are justified. I stand with you, and so does the UK government.

Whenever Israel is attacked, there are those who try to justify hatred and antisemitism. So, I understand why many in the Jewish community are anxious.

That’s why I went to Golders Green earlier this week to meet members of the local community. I spoke with business owners, school children and community leaders, including the Jewish Leadership Council and Community Security Trust.

I fully support Israel’s right to defend herself against the evil of Hamas. That should never result in hostility towards the Jewish community in the UK, but we know from past experience some will try.

When Hamas has acted in the past we’ve seen the desecration of memorials and religious sites in the UK, verbal abuse on the streets and the vandalism of businesses.

That is wrong. It is unacceptable in our country.

The safety of the Jewish community in the UK is an absolute priority. That’s why I’m doing everything I can to support your families and protect your communities. Abuse will not be tolerated.

The government is already working closely with the Community Security Trust and other Jewish communal bodies to ensure operational measures including stepped up patrols are in place to provide reassurance and protect communities, synagogues and schools.

We have also been clear that the police should be using every available power to prevent disorder and distress to our communities.

Officers should be acting immediately to crackdown on criminality wherever it occurs, whether in our streets or online. In particular, they have my support in using the full force of the law in response to displays of support for Hamas or attempts to intimidate and harass British Jews online or in person. Please do let us know what you see too.

Sadly, some will still demonstrate across the country. We believe in freedom and we know that everyone has the right to a voice - though how anyone who can support an organisation that uses children to dig tunnels, murders their political opponents, and gay people, and has stolen aid and support designed to help the people is beyond me. Hamas are nothing but tyrants and terrorists.

That is why they are proscribed. Any support for Hamas is a criminal offence. Flying their flags, displaying their symbols or advocating their cause is not only wrong, it is illegal.

The coming weeks will be difficult, and some will try to equate defenders with those who murdered children and raped their victims. We know the truth and must continue to speak out.

These attacks were intended to show peace is impossible, but we know it is not. The world may have changed since the Abraham Accords but there is hope for the future, so long as we overcome those who try to divide us.

That’s why we stand with Israel. Terrorism must not be allowed to prevail.

And here in the United Kingdom, we stand with the Jewish community. There’s no excuse for harassment or abuse. This is our priority and that is what we are doing.

Tom Tugendhat is Security Minister

October 11, 2023 10:57

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive