UK government to revoke visas for Hamas supporters

FILE - Robert Jenrick, Minister of State, leaves after a Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street in London, Tuesday, March 28, 2023. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
By Thomas Brooke
4 Min Read

The British government is considering revoking visas for foreign nationals who express sympathies with the Hamas terror organization responsible for slaughtering more than 1,300 Jewish civilians in Israel on Oct. 7.

A number of individuals have already been identified by authorities for anti-Semitic behavior, which, even if it falls below the threshold for a criminal offense, could still see themselves booted out of Britain, Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick warned on Wednesday.

Speaking to Times Radio, the Conservative lawmaker reiterated his belief in free speech but said: “I think there is conduct which is below the criminal standard but which is wrong, would be accepted as wrong by most reasonable people.

“If those people are not British citizens, they are just visitors to our country enjoying the privileges of living here… I’m afraid their visas will be revoked and they should leave,” he added.

The Telegraph newspaper reported on Wednesday that the immigration status of at least six people is currently being considered by the Home Office following incidents of anti-Semitism amid an escalation of the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Hamas-run Palestinian territory of Gaza in the Middle East.

Police forces across England and Wales were instructed last week to report foreign nationals caught up in anti-Jew hate crimes to the interior ministry in order to have their right to remain in Britain reviewed by immigration officials.

“I can’t look a British Jewish person in the eye as immigration minister and say that I’ve allowed somebody to remain at our pleasure in this country who is conducting themselves in that manner. That is wrong. If you come to this country, you abide by British values,” Jenrick added.

Education Ministers Gillian Keegan and Robert Halfon also wrote to vice-chancellors of U.K. universities earlier this month calling on them to act “swiftly and decisively” against any threats made against Jewish students.

The Metropolitan Police revealed earlier this week that London had witnessed a 1,350 percent increase in anti-Semitism so far in October compared to the same period last year.

A total of 218 hate crimes against Jews were recorded between Oct. 1 and Oct. 18, compared with just 15 for the same period in 2022. In nine out of the 10 alleged offenses, no arrests were made, the police force added.

Scores of demonstrations have been conducted across the U.K., attended primarily by British Muslims and foreign nationals sympathetic with the Palestinian cause, to protest Israel’s retaliatory measures against the Hamas-run Gaza Strip following the terror attack on Israeli territory earlier this month.

The fuelling of anti-Semitism across the country hasn’t been helped by the several faux pas of mainstream media outlets, including the BBC, which has refused to label Hamas as a terror organization and jumped the gun on the contested explosion at a Gaza hospital.

Other broadcasters have also recently been criticized, such as ITV News after it gave a platform to a pro-Palestine reporter of an anti-Semitic Iranian news channel to denounce a rise in Islamophobia across Britain.

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