Sunak reassured Britain’s terrified Jewish community (Image: PA)
Rishi Sunak last night reassured Britain’s terrified Jewish community: “I will stop at nothing to keep you safe.”
Following reports of widespread antisemitic abuse, the Prime Minister said: “I know that at moments like this, when the Jewish people are under attack in their homeland, Jewish people everywhere can feel less safe.
“We have already seen vile words on our streets and attempts to stir up community tensions.
“I say: Not here. Not in Britain. Not in our country. Not in this century. My first duty is to protect you. We will not tolerate this
hate, we will not tolerate this antisemitism. And I promise you: I will stop at nothing to keep you safe.”
Mr Sunak was praised for rearranging his diary to attend the evening of prayer in solidarity with the people of Israel and the Jewish community at Finchley United Synagogue in North London last night.
People wave placards at the vigil taking place opposite Downing Street (Image: Shutterstock)
Mr Sunak continued: “I wanted to come here tonight to stand with you, to stand with you in this hour of grief as we mourn the victims of an utterly abhorrent act of terror, to stand with you in this hour of prayer, as we think of those held hostage and your friends and loved ones taking refuge in bomb shelters, or risking their lives on the frontline.
“And perhaps above all, I wanted to come here tonight to stand with you in solidarity in Israel’s hour of need. As the Prime Minister of this country, I’m unequivocal. The people who support Hamas are fully responsible for this appalling attack.
“They are not militants. They are not freedom fighters. They are terrorists.” He said the “barbaric acts” committed by Hamas
“There is no other word to describe what we have have seen,” he said, adding: “There are not two sides to these events. There is no question of balance. I stand with Israel. We stand with Israel, the United Kingdom stands with Israel against this terrorism today, tomorrow and always.”
His comments came after displays of support for Hamas in the UK were recorded nationwide. A number of street rallies have
seen anti-Israel demonstrators saluting Hamas’ surprise attacks on Israel.
Metropolitan Police has stepped up patrols in Jewish areas of London (Image: PA)
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The Metropolitan Police has stepped up patrols in Jewish areas of London. And officers were monitoring a Palestine Solidarity Campaign demonstration outside the Israeli embassy in Kensington last night after a Palestinian flag was draped atop a lamppost opposite and a firework fired at the building amid criminal damage.
Last night a vigil organised by The Board of Deputies of British Jews was held outside Downing Street. Yesterday morning graffiti appeared on a railway bridge in Golders Green, North London – which has a large Jewish population – reading “Free Palestine!”
Following a separate attack on a nearby kosher restaurant, Dov Forman, great-grandson of Auschwitz survivor Lily Ebert, who was awarded an MBE early this year, wrote: “There must be zero tolerance for anti-Semitism or any glorification of terrorism.”
On Sunday a march through Manchester saw a huge banner that read: “Manchester Supports Palestinian Resistance”.
Dana Abuqamar, president of Manchester Friends of Palestine, said: “We are full of pride. We are really, really full of joy (at) what has happened…We are proud that Palestinian resistance has come to this point.”
Chris Philp, Minister for Crime, Policing and Fire condemned her remarks, tweeting: “This is sick.” In Brighton, a Palestinian woman told a Palestine Solidarity Campaign rally at the East Sussex seaside resort on Sunday that terrorist atrocities were “inspiring” and “beautiful”.
In Liverpool, ex-Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn refused to directly condemn Hamas. He called for a “ceasefire” and “an end to the occupation of Palestine”.
Maggie Chapman, an MSP with Scottish Green claimed the deaths were “a consequence of apartheid” and shared a tweet saying it was not “terrorism” but “decolonization”. Scottish Tory MSP Jackson Carlaw, said Ms Chapman’s remarks should end the SNP’s coalition with the Scottish Greens.
Rachel Riley, a Countdown presenter who is Jewish, posted a video on her X account, showing a number of people celebrating the Hamas attacks outside a cafe in Acton, west London. She tweeted: “People have been brutally murdered and kidnapped and there are people in London dancing.”
Immigration minister Robert Jenrick shared the post, saying: “These disgusting people are glorifying the terrorist activities of Hamas…No place for this in UK.”
Sadiq Khan, the capital’s mayor, condemned the Hamas attacks and said it was important they did not “spill over” into increased hate crime in the city.
Dave Rich, of the Community Security Trust, a charity that protects British Jews from anti-Semitism, said: “Experience tells us that as conflicts in Israel and Gaza escalate, we will see a spike in anti-semitic hate crimes in Britain.”
Meanwhile, in Australia yesterday, there were ugly scenes when hundreds of pro-Palestine protesters gathered outside Sydney Opera House to demonstrate against the iconic building being lit up in support of Israel while burning flares were thrown at a line of police officers.