Stop masking your support for genocide in Gaza

IssueApril - May 2024
Feature by CAGE

6 March: Rishi Sunak’s ‘speech’ on the alleged increase in ‘extremism’ is part of a wider and coordinated propaganda campaign aimed at manufacturing a crisis that deflects growing public criticisms away from the government’s support of the genocide unfolding in Gaza. 

The prime minister’s address was made in reference to the peaceful pro-Palestine demonstrations that have been held weekly for the past five months against Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza. 

This coordinated campaign includes interventions from former senior ministers and MPs, such as Suella Braverman, Lee Anderson and Robert Jenrick, who have made wild and unsubstantiated claims of an ‘Islamist takeover’. 

Moreover, mainstream commentators publishing op-eds in the Times and Telegraph are promoting this campaign and proposing ideas on how far the government should go in this new clampdown on rights and freedoms. 

Typically, inciting fears and prejudices against Muslims is the weapon being wielded to further expand the security state and shore up support for a failing administration.

Under the auspices of the commission for countering terrorism (CCE), the government has spent seven years and unlimited resources in an attempt to define extremism but has failed. 

The right to protest against UK foreign policy or hold politicians to account is enshrined in law and cannot be brought into any new definition of extremism. 

The quest for arbitrary powers is double-edged, as any new definition will capture the wild conspiracy theories promoted by some members of parliament and senior policymakers. 

It can only work as part of a two-tier legal system which only targets Muslims and those who oppose government policy. 

As William Shawcross* in his review of Prevent argued, that particular policy should only be applied to Muslims, and not others who could come under its purview, because only the former posed a threat to society. 

Indeed, it is clear that advocates of the great white replacement** conspiracy theory are now embedded in cabinet and Whitehall. 

Whilst the justification for criminalising dissent is built on the necessity to marginalise and demonise Muslims, a minority section of society, the impact, as many opposition politicians and commentators have pointed out, will have far reaching consequences for any public manifestations of opposition to government policy. 

This government is desperate to survive and, like previous governments of the last 30 years, is inciting and exploiting the prejudices of the most regressive elements in society to support its heinous agenda.

If successful, it further exposes the reputation of Britain as a country that has been eroding the rules of law and accountability at the behest of the permanent wars lobby. 

The world is waking up to the horrors of the genocide being committed by Israel and the destruction of the international order which will have severe consequences for the future. 

It is shocking that instead of engaging with the growing opposition to the apartheid Israeli regime, the isolated and desperate prime minister and his cohort of Friends of Israel lobby are content to provide cover for the genocidal aims of the Israeli state. 

The evidence of a livestreamed genocide is impossible to hide whatever diversionary tactics are used.

The decision of the international court of justice is a powerful reminder that those politicians, lobby groups and states that facilitate the war crimes in Gaza and target those who call for justice must be investigated with a view to prosecution.