Gove to warn antisemitism is ‘currency of hate’ connecting Islamists with far-right and left

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Gove to warn antisemitism is ‘currency of hate’ connecting Islamists with far-right and left

Michael Gove to warn the cry of ‘From The River to the Sea’ envisages the 'erasure of the Jewish people’s home'

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Communities Secretary Michael Gove giving his keynote address during the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. Picture date: Monday October 4, 2021.
Communities Secretary Michael Gove giving his keynote address during the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. Picture date: Monday October 4, 2021.

Communities Secretary Michael Gove has warned antisemitism is the “common currency of hate” connecting Islamist extremists to those on the far right and the hard left.

And he will also accuse some who chant “From The River To The Sea” of seeking “the delegitimisation and demonisation of the state of Israel as a prelude to its dismantlement and destruction.”

In a speech on the rise of antisemitism following the October 7th terror attacks, delivered in north London on Tuesday, Gove is expected to say: “It’s an ironclad law of history that countries which are descending into darkness are those which are becoming progressively more unsafe for Jewish individuals and the Jewish community – the Spain of the Inquisition, the Vienna of the 1900s, Germany in the Thirties, Russia in the last decade.

“It is a parallel law that those countries in which the Jewish community has felt most safe at any time are the countries where freedom is most secure at any time. The Netherlands of the 17th century. Britain in the first decades of the last century. America in the second half of that century.

“So when Jewish people are under threat, all our freedoms are threatened. The safety of the Jewish community is the canary in the mine. Growing antisemitism is a fever which weakens the whole body politic. ”

He is expected to add:”Now the focus is on the delegitimisation and demonisation of the state of Israel as a prelude to its dismantlement and destruction. That is what the cry of ‘from the river to the sea’ envisages. The end of Zion. The erasure of the Jewish people’s home.”

Gove will say that although it is “legitimate and sometimes necessary” to criticise the conduct of the Israeli government, some have a different agenda.

The Secretary of State made his speech to coincide with the publication of government-commissioned report from Lord Walney on political violence and disruption, Palestine Action should be banned like terror groups, new report expected to claimthat singled out groups such as Palestine Action and Just Stop Oil for criticism.

The speech, which used statistics on antisemitism provided to the minister by the Community Security Trust, also came ahead of the publication of the Government’s Counter Extremism Action Plan in the coming weeks.

It also took place less than two weeks after prime minister Rishi Sunak held at summit at Downing Street where he met Jewish student leaders to discuss antisemitism on campus.

Gove was expected to say:” I see that directly in my work tackling extremism and promoting community cohesion, there is one thing which – increasingly – unites the organisations and individuals which give cause for extremist concern. Antisemitism.

“It is the common currency of hate. It is at the dark heart of their world view. Whether Islamist. Far Right. Or Hard Left.”  Referring to recent protest marches, the Secretary of State is expected to call out organisers for not doing more to prevent symbols of anti-Jewish hate.

He will say: “Many of those on these marches are thoughtful, gentle, compassionate people – driven by a desire for peace and an end to suffering. But they are side by side with those who are promoting hate.  The organisers of these marches could do everything in their power to stop that. They don’t.”

Gove also urged members of the House of Lords to pass the Economic Activity of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill, which aims tostop businesses and organisations – including those affiliated with Israel – being targeted through ongoing boycotts by public bodies.

The bill has come under criticism from some MPs and peers who fear it could cause more tension, rather than less.

Gove is expected to add: “We must say to every Jewish citizen in this country – your safety is the best guarantee of our security, your freedom to live as you choose the only way we can be certain we remain a land of liberty, your future is our future. We said ‘Never Again’. And that is a promise we will never, ever, disavow.”

Responding to the speech for Labour deputy leader and shadow communities secretary Angela Rayner MP said:”There is no place in Britain for antisemitic hate and those who push this poison should face the full force of the law. We all have a responsibility to condemn this vile hatred and show that it will never be tolerated.

“Michael Gove is right that most people on these marches have been protesting peacefully and lawfully, but we cannot tolerate the hateful minority and the appalling incidents of antisemitism.

“Labour will continue to urge Ministers to reverse the downgrading of recording requirements for non-crime hate incidents, bring forward a new Hate Crime Strategy, and crack down on online extremism. Our door will always be open to working together on finding ways of tackling this hate.”

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