The Government must confront anti-Semitism

Nov 20, 2023 by

Telegraph Editorial:

Saturday saw the return of an unwelcome new element in the rhythm of weekly life. While no large march was held in London, pro-Palestine protesters turned out at roughly 100 events up and down the country. For some areas, it was their first taste of the disruption London has been dealing with.

For weeks, these demonstrations have been marred by loud anti-Semitic elements. Many protesters have routinely chanted “from the river to the sea”, a slogan widely understood to be a call for the destruction of the state of Israel, amid a torrent of abuse targeting the Jewish state and people. There have been instances of genocide denial, anti-Semitic signs, blood libels and some have gone so far as to dress in imitation of Hamas terrorists.

Calls for the release of hostages, or for Hamas’s surrender, have been all-but absent. Some have started targeting MPs in a way that appears to be an ill-disguised attempt at intimidation. This cannot go on without a proper response.

Even the most ardent believers in free speech concede that there must be carve outs to prevent threats and calls for violence. Inciting racist hate is rightly illegal. The behaviour of some pro-Palestine protesters has crossed numerous lines time and time again, and yet the Government seems paralysed. It cannot be the case that each weekend, our streets play host to displays of anti-Semitic hatred that leave many Jewish people afraid to venture into their town centres.

The Government can no longer stand idly by. It is clear that extremism has been allowed to fester in this country, spreading hatred and division. To see young people, educated in Britain, take to the streets to call for the eradication of Israel is heartbreaking.

It is time for the state to act as it has both a right and duty to, and to confront this scourge in our schools, in our universities, on social media and above all in our streets. It must come out with a proper strategy, and plans for whatever emergency legislation is required to enact it.

Read here (£)



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