Gove seeks funding for new plan to tackle anti-Israel extremists

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Gove seeks funding for new plan to tackle anti-Israel extremists

Communities secretary Michael Gove asks Treasury to back national cohesion plan to counter threat posed to UK democracy by 'extremist' groups

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Banner at pro-Palestine rally Equity had backed accusing Jews of being Christ-killers
Banner at pro-Palestine rally Equity had backed accusing Jews of being Christ-killers

Michael Gove has approached the Treasury over the funding of a “national cohesion and counter-extremism plan” with new focus on tackling radical Islamist ideology in the UK.

Jewish News understands that emphasis has been placed on the proposals in recent weeks after pro-Palestine demos across Britain have seen fringe groups calling for “jihad” and “intifada” on Britain’s streets.

Gove’s Levelling Up, Housing and Communities department had already commenced a review into current definitions of extremism earlier this year.

Sources say the minister has asked for around £40m in funding from the Treasury in order to kickstart the counter-extremism project.

One insider said:”The recent upsurge in extremist anti-Israel activity on Britain’s streets, along with the small pockets of support for the proscribed Hamas organisation are an obvious sign of how the government has taken its eye off of the ball in recent years to this problem.

“Michael [Gove] is more convinced than ever of the need for a proper new and long-term government response.”

The review into existing definitions of extremism was started over fears that radical Islamist organisations along with groups on the far-right, were currently able to operate without fear of breaking the law in the UK.

Even though many of these groups held views that were deemed to be a threat to British democracy.

Reports last weekend suggested Gove had begun talks with the home office over a possible new definition of extremism which would include any person who is deemed to “undermine” the country’s institutions and its values.

Groups that could fall foul of any new definition reportedly included the anti-Israel group Palestine Action and the Muslim advocacy organisation Mend (Muslim Engagement & Development).

It is understood that some around the Communities Secretary believe that the government has “taken its eye off of the ball” in relation to the continued threat posed to the UK by radical Islamist ideology.

The global scale and impact of the pandemic, and the response of government’s around the world, was an obvious reason for focus being diverted away from counter-terrorism projects.

Gove is also believed to want to mirror the work that used to be done by think tanks such as the Quilliam Foundation into counter-extremism and Islamism.

Prior to its closure in 2021 Qulliam aimed to lobby government and public institutions for more nuanced policies regarding Islam and on the need for greater democracy in the Muslim world whilst empowering “moderate Muslim” voices.

The organisation openly opposed any Islamist ideology and championed freedom of expression.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: