British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Saturday said that they have seen “intimidating behaviour” and “shameful” antisemitism online and on the streets with attempts to stir up tensions following Hamas’s “terrorist attack” on Israel. He assured the Jewish community in the UK that he “will do everything” to protect them.
“To our Jewish community in the UK: I know you are hurting and reeling from these vile terrorist acts. At moments like this, when Jewish people are under attack in their homeland, Jewish people everywhere can feel less safe,” he said in a statement.
“We’ve seen intimidating behaviour and shameful antisemitism online and on our streets with attempts to stir up tensions. I say: not here. Not in Britain. Not in our country. Not in this century,” he added.
“And if anything is standing in the way of keeping the Jewish community safe, we will fix it,” Mr Sunak said.
According to London’s Metropolitan Police, there has been a “massive increase in anti-Semitic crime and incidents”. The Met’s deputy assistant commissioner Laurence Taylor said there were 105 anti-Semitic incidents and 75 anti-Semitic offences between September 30 and October 13, compared to 14 incidents and 12 offences in the same period last year.
“Britain is with Israel”
Rishi Sunak reiterated Britain’s support for Israel and said that what took place was “an act of pure evil”.
“I know that the days and weeks ahead will continue to be very difficult… We will do everything we can to support Israel in restoring the security it deserves,” he said.
I stand with you, the British Jewish community, and I will do everything I possibly can to protect you.
To those trying to stir up tensions online and on our streets with intimidating behaviour and shameful antisemitism, I say this:
Not here. Not in Britain. Not in our country.
— Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) October 14, 2023
“No words can begin to describe the horror and barbarism unleashed in Israel a week ago,” the UK prime minister added.
Israel prepares for ground assault on Gaza
Israel on Sunday prepared for a ground assault on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip as the country hit back for an unprecedented assault on its territory. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to “crush” the Hamas group in retaliation for a rampage by its fighters in Israeli towns last week in which some 1,300 people were killed.
Israel has responded by subjecting Gaza to the most intense bombardment it has ever seen and putting it under total siege.
Gaza authorities said over 2,300 people had been killed, a quarter of them children, and nearly 10,000 wounded.