UK Residence Secretary Suella Braverman ordered on Tuesday UK police enhance scrutiny on shows of Palestinian help amidst the latest Hamas attack on Israel. In a letter despatched to Chief Constables in England and Wales, Braverman reminded police that the federal government has acknowledged Hamas as a terrorist group. Below UK regulation, it’s a prison offense to point out any help in the direction of acknowledged terrorist teams, comparable to Hamas.
Within the letter, Braverman mentioned she anticipated “the police to make use of the total drive of the regulation in opposition to shows of help for Hamas.” Within the UK, it’s a criminal offense for anybody to belong to, invite help for, and collect in help of acknowledged terrorist group like Hamas. Braverman emphasised that shows of help might embrace slogans, comparable to “from the river to the ocean, Palestine shall be free,” or waving a Palestinian flag. On the similar time, Braverman acknowledged, “Context is essential” and that “[b]ehaviours which might be professional in some circumstances…is probably not professional comparable to when supposed to glorify acts of terrorism.”
Braverman emphasised that the federal government is anxious that shows of help for Hamas could also be used to “fire up hatred in opposition to British Jews.” Solely a day after Braverman’s letter, Jewish non-governmental group (NGO) Community Security Trust (CST) noted that there have been 89 antisemitic incidents recorded since this previous Saturday, October 7. The variety of incidents marks a 300 p.c enhance in antisemitic incidents in comparison with the identical interval final yr. Recorded incidents embrace assaults, injury to and desecration of Jewish property, direct threats and verbal abuse.
Braverman’s letter has been criticized by the Palestine Solidarity Marketing campaign (PSC), a NGO advocating for peace and justice for Palestinians. PSC mentioned Braverman’s statements “threaten civil liberties and normalise the dehumanisation of Palestinians that’s widespread in present political discourse.”