Pro-Israel group calls for ‘more action to protect MPs and councillors’ from demos

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Pro-Israel group calls for ‘more action to protect MPs and councillors’ from demos

We Believe In Israel say they welcome Home Office's £31m for extra security around politicians, but urge James Cleverly to 'take more action'

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Anti-Israel protestors in Oxford St on Tuesday
Anti-Israel protestors in Oxford St on Tuesday

Grassroots campaign group We Believe In Israel have launched a new campaign urging Home Secretary James Cleverly to “take more action” to protect MPs and councillors from intimidation by anti-Israel protesters.

The group’s director Luke Akehurst told Jewish News that while he welcomed an announcement by the Home Office on Wednesday of £31 million in funding for security improvements around politicians he was “concerned this does not go far enough.”

The group have set out a series of specific measures they want the government to implement to further protect MPs and councillors “so that the democratic process is not impacted by intimidation and harassment by anti-Israel campaigners.”

They are urging supporters to back an email campaign that stresses after the horrific murders of sitting MPs Jo Cox and Sir David Amess, “it is deeply disturbing that our elected officials are again faced with unprecedented levels of thuggery and intimidation.”

The email states:”In light of the recent shocking and unacceptable attempts to intimidate and harass MPs and councillors over the issue of Israel and Gaza, I am calling for the Home Office to do everything in its power to increase protection for elected officials at all levels of British government. 

“There is no reason why national and local politicians should face fear and mob rule as we have seen in recent days and weeks. This must stop.”

James Cleverly speaks at Tory Party conference in Manchester

While welcoming the  announcement of £31 million in funding for MPs’ security, the campaign group call on James Cleverly to consider offering “clear guidance to police officers to use their existing powers to prevent and disperse protests outside elected officials’ homes.”

They also recommend “categorising MPs’ and council offices the same as schools to empower police officers to move on threatening protests.”

ON Thursday, a call of anti-Israel activists to arrive at Camden Council’s headquarters next week while a full council meeting takes place was widely circulated on social media.

The latest stunt by “Camden Ceasefire Picket” anti-Israel activists featured an image of Labour leader Keir Starmer claiming he was “making his council complicit.”

The group also call for the reviewing of security arrangements around Westminster and Whitehall “with a view to reducing opportunities to harass MPs as they enter and leave Parliament.”

Protest planned next week outside Camden council meeting

They also ask for “specific package of funding for councils and councillors to ensure their meetings are properly secured and cannot be disrupted, and to pay for specific equipment such as CCTV, email monitoring software, personal alarms, and secure transport and venues for advice surgeries for councillors who are being specifically targeted.”

And suggest that more widely “we call on the Government to get the balance right on the policing of anti-Israel marches and demonstrations.” 

“These must not be allowed to shut down the centre of major cities on repeated weekends, at huge cost in policing, nor should chanting of inflammatory slogans or carrying antisemitic placards be tolerated,” they say.

“The right of the wider public to enjoy access to our city centres without fear of huge and angry demonstrations obstructing or even harassing them is as important as the right to demonstrate.”

Link to campaign:

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