Between 1941 and 1945, in what was described by the Nazis as ‘the final solution to the Jewish problem’, the world witnessed the systematic slaughter of over 6,000,000 Jews – men, women and children, all condemned indiscriminately to what were at the time euphemistically called ‘labour camps’, but in reality were simply ‘death camps’. The aim was literally to wipe out all Jews across Europe, for the simple reason that, to Hitler and his fellow Nazis, the Jewish race was subhuman and evil.
This was genocide on an unimaginable scale and in the aftermath of WW2, when the full horror of the Concentration Camps was exposed, the world vowed that such atrocities would never happen again. On 3 September 1953, The European Convention on Human Rights, designed to protect fundamental human freedoms, such as the right to life, freedom of belief, and protection from discrimination, torture, the death penalty, etc, came into force (https://www.echr.coe.int/european-convention-on-human-rights). It has remained in force for the last 70 years, as we have continued to celebrate and defend those freedoms – yet now, almost unbelievably, we are seeing that same spirit, aimed at the total annihilation of the Jews, once again manifesting on our streets.
On 7 October, the world was sickened by news of the murderous, surprise attack launched by Hamas on Israel. 1,400 died in that raid, in the main civilians simply going about their daily lives, while some 230 were kidnapped and taken back to Gaza – seemingly, as bargaining chips designed to prevent retaliation. The attack was a declaration of war by terrorists, whose stated aim is to wipe Israel off the face of the earth (https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/what-hamas#:~:text=In%201988%2C%20Hamas%20published%20its,Islamic%
Since that time, as Israel has sought to counter the threat of Hamas and fighting has broken out in the Gaza strip and beyond, there has been global outcry on the part of those sympathetic to the Palestinian cause for an immediate cessation to hostilities. By which it is meant, in practice, that Hamas will remain free to pursue its murderous campaign, but that Israel must not retaliate.
Let us, however, consider – from the start, Hamas have shown themselves prepared to sacrifice the Palestinian people in pursuit of their stated aim to destroy Israel. To this end, they have hidden their weapons and infrastructure amongst the civilian population, ruthlessly exploiting men, women, children, and the sick, in order to deter retaliation. Thus, rockets, used to rain down terror on Israel, have been cold-bloodedly hidden in schools and hospitals, so that if Israel dares try and eliminate them, it can be castigated for targeting civilians and breaking the rules of war.
Let us make no mistake, the goal of Islamist terror groups is not limited to Israel, but extends to the destruction of all Jewish people across the world. And, with calls for jihad and intifada ringing out from the so-called ‘peace marches’, those poisonous tendrils are now taking root in our own streets.
In all conscience we cannot, and must not, permit this.
It is entirely right that Israel take appropriate and proportionate action to defend itself from threat, and those who are genuine in their calls for peace should, first and foremost, be condemning not them, but Hamas – for the good of both Jews and Palestinians alike. For genuine peace, protestors should be calling for the condemnation and removal of all terrorists from Gaza and the Palestinian territories. Because only then will the civilian population of both States be able to live in peace.
Likewise, so-called pro-Palestinian demonstrations in the UK should, in the first instance, be condemning Hamas, not Israel – castigating the terrorists for their harsh and uncaring exploitation of those who cannot defend themselves. As it is, calling for violent holy war callously disregards the ordinary citizens of Gaza and simply exposes the murderous hatred towards Israel, and indeed the West as a whole, that exists amongst some sections of society and that turns such demonstrations – as Suella Braverman has so bravely and accurately said – into hate marches, designed to foment violence and war (https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2023/oct/30/uk-ministers-cobra-meeting-terrorism-threat-israel-hamas-conflict-suella-braverman).
The suffering of the Palestinian people in Gaza is unquestionably appalling and all must want it to end. But the war, deliberately provoked and engineered by Hamas, does not and cannot justify the rise in anti-Semitism now evident of our streets, and indeed across the whole world. We are seeing the resurrection of an ancient evil, and the murderous spirit so evident in the death camps must not be allowed once again to take root in our streets. England resisted such evil in WW2, and we must resist it now.
There is compelling evidence that the campaign of protest against Israel in the UK is being manipulated by terror networks linked to Iran, shamelessly manipulating the truth in order to support their preferred narrative of Israeli oppression (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/iran-agents-uk-pro-palestine-protests-9f8pst6vf).
It is unquestionably this that has led to the horrifying rise in anti-semitic attacks over the last month, with hate crimes against Jews reportedly increasing by a staggering 1,350%. The situation has indeed become so bad that many Jews in the UK are now afraid to venture out on the streets.
At every level, this is unacceptable. The authorities must act without delay to stop all demonstrations that incite hatred against the Jews, and those that advocate and endorse such behaviour must be held accountable before the law.