UK risks ‘descending into darkness’ of antisemitism, Michael Gove to say | Antisemitism

Michael Gove is set to warn that Britain risks “going dark” if it fails to tackle rising anti-Semitism in the wake of the October 7 attacks.

In a major speech, the Communities Secretary will say the security of Britain’s Jewish community is a “canary in the mine” for the health of the entire political system.

“When Jews are under threat, all our freedoms are threatened,” he would say on Tuesday. “The safety of the Jewish community is the canary in the mine.

“The rise in anti-Semitism is like a fever that weakens the political power of the whole body. There is one thing that is increasingly uniting organizations and individuals who are a cause for extremist concern: anti-Semitism. .

“It’s a common currency of hate. It’s at the dark heart of their worldview. Whether it’s Islamists, the far right, the far left.”

The Community Security Trust, a charity that provides safety advice to the Jewish community, recorded the highest number of anti-Semitic incidents in 2023, with a 147% increase on the previous year. About two-thirds of the total occurred after his October 7 attack.

In his speech, Mr Gove criticized the organizers of the pro-Palestinian marches, in which thousands of people regularly march through London and other cities, for not doing more to prevent symbols of anti-Semitic hatred. I plan on criticizing it.

“Many of the people marching are thoughtful, kind and caring people, driven by a desire for peace and an end to suffering,” he would say. “But they stand shoulder to shoulder with those who promote hatred.

“The organizers of these marches can do everything in their power to stop it. They are not.”

Demonstrations have been overwhelmingly peaceful, but police arrested seven people at the latest protest in London on Saturday, including one demonstrator carrying a coffin with offensive language written on it. participants were also included. The demonstration came days after Nakba Day, which honors the more than 700,000 Palestinians who were displaced or forced from their homes in the 1948 war.

Mr Gove, who is seen as one of the most pro-Israel MPs in Parliament, is expected to urge MPs to back a bill to ban boycotts of Israel by UK public bodies, but some Tories are It said the move could exacerbate tensions in British society amid the Israel-Hamas war.

He made the speech ahead of the publication of a report by the government’s independent adviser Lord Walney on political violence, due to be released on Tuesday. The report is expected to recommend a new category to ban “extremist protest groups”.

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“It’s time for the political world to catch up with the real world and view radical protest movements as an unacceptable threat to democracy, rather than an extension of it,” he said at the report’s launch.

Mr Walney was joined by former Labor MP John Woodcock, who said at the weekend that far-left forces were trying to “undermine” Britain’s democratic principles by refusing to abide by the law.

His recommendation could mean that protest groups such as Just Stop Oil and Palestine Action, which focus on arms companies with ties to Israel, could be banned in the same way as terrorist organizations. It could mean that. Sanctions may limit an organization’s ability to raise funds or its right to assemble.

The Home Office said ministers would consider the recommendation, but it is unclear whether the government will move ahead with the ban before the election. It plans to publish a counter-extremism action plan in the coming weeks.