Special Briefing Day 28: Prime Minister Sunak – “To plan protests on Armistice Day is provocative an disrespectful”

By November 03 2023, 16:00 Latest News No Comments

Note to reader: We wanted to give you a trigger warning on what you may read below. We have chosen, as with every night of these briefings, to not share horrific images, however we want to alert you as sensitively as we can to the reports coming out of Israel.

Over 200 empty beds outside Tel Aviv Museum

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak: “To plan protests on Armistice Day is provocative and disrespectful”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said, in reference to the friends of al-Aqsa ‘the million march for Palestine’ taking place on 11 November, that “to plan protests on Armistice Day is provocative and disrespectful, and there is a clear and present risk that the Cenotaph and other war memorials could be desecrated, something that would be an affront to the British public and the values we stand for”.

“The right to remember, in peace and dignity, those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for those freedoms must be protected”, he added.

He has asked the Home Secretary Suella Braverman “to support the Met Police in doing everything necessary to protect the sanctity of Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday”.

The Prime Minister’s statement follows Security Minister Tom Tugendhat’s letter to the Mayor of London, Westminster Council and the Metropolitan Police yesterday evening expressing concern about pro-Palestinian protests taking place on Armistice Day.

He told BBC Breakfast that Remembrance Sunday for “my fellow veterans…[is] a day of grief. It’s a day when many of us remember those who aren’t standing with us, who aren’t there to lay a wreath, who aren’t there with their friends to have a beer afterwards and talk about the old days”.

“It’s a moment when we remember those we lost and I think for the whole country, the Cenotaph is sacred ground and the idea that on a day like Remembrance Day you’d have a protest going past it; I don’t think that’s acceptable”.

“Personally, I don’t think this is an appropriate moment for a protest”, he added.

The Security Minister also told Sky News that “Hamas has been stealing aid off the Palestinian people”. Hamas has been “turning water pipes into missiles, has been effectively weaponising any outside element whether it’s concrete that’s there to build schools and hospitals and turning it into tunnels in order to protect their leadership and leave the civilian population exposed”.

“It’s been a consistent theme where Hamas has been turning [Gaza] effectively into a battleground and leaving the civilian population completely exposed”, he added.

Former Cabinet Minister Lord Vaizey, also expressed that a demonstration should not be allowed on Armistice Weekend. Talking to TalkTV the Lord said “Armistice Weekend is a sacred weekend where we remember people who laid down their lives for the freedom that these people are enjoying; the freedom to demonstrate”.

“I think the pro-Palestinian demonstrations are pretty shocking anyway. Israel suffered the worst loss of civilian life of Jews since the Holocaust. An unbelievable terrorist attack…The idea that there would have been a demonstration effectively in favour of what happened is just appalling”.

Listing the chants; “From the river to the sea and calling for Jihad and even worse things about Jewish people”, he says that “the lack of safety that a lot of our Jewish community now feel living in London [is] really appalling”.

“There is room for legitimate demonstration however unpalatable the views of some people taking part. But on the Armistice Weekend, when as I say we commemorate the people who have laid down their lives, to give us the freedoms to demonstrate and many other freedoms, I think is completely inappropriate”, he said.

Lord Vaizey also said last night to Sky News’ Politics Hub that “if we don’t stand by Israel in taking on these terrorists who want to destroy Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, we will be weakening ourselves. There’s a massive amount of self-interest here, leaving aside the moral case which I think is unarguable, about Israel’s right to defend itself”.

Conservative MP Henry Smith has also commented on pro-Palestinian protests on Armistice Day calling on the Government to “consider deploying military assistance” after “consecutive weekends of demonstrations where the Cenotaph and other national monuments have been grossly disrespected”. He underscored that “it’s completely inappropriate for further protests to be held over Remembrance weekend”.

Conservative MP and former cabinet minister Sir Simon Clarke also expressed that “we should not have these scenes of hatred and bigotry on our streets”.

Chair of Defence Committee: “Israel has a right to defend itself”

Chair of the House of Commons Defence Committee Robert Courts MP, has declared that “Israel has a right to defend itself”. Speaking to the Express, Courts noted that “Israel has been the victim of a barbaric attack which is unparalleled since the Holocaust from people who are terrorists, and are people who are conducting warfare in the most barbaric way”, therefore “Israel has one of the hardest military tasks imaginable as they fight that campaign”.

“They are dealing with an enemy who deliberately embed themselves within the civilian population, which means that there is going to be increased damage there; and that is something that Hamas are doing absolutely deliberately”.

Discussing the possibility of a ceasefire, Courts underscored that “the difficulty with any suggestion of a ceasefire is whether Hamas would accept one”. “Hamas has no intention of complying with the laws of war, with international law, and Israel, which of course does do so”, he added.

“I think it’s all very well asking for a ceasefire but I think there has to be a lot of consideration to what form that would actually take and what that would really mean in reality”.

“The Westminster Holocaust Memorial is needed now more than ever”

“The Westminster Holocaust Memorial is needed now more than ever”, said CFI Officer Baroness Altmann CBE. “In light of the tragic events on and since October 7th – and the subsequent shocking rise in antisemitic sentiment – it seems the lessons of the Holocaust are not penetrating modern day events” she writes in Politics Home.

“The post-war compact that promised ‘Never Again’ is clearly under threat”, Baroness Altmann CBE warns.

“Current developments show it has never been more important to remember and learn from the past. Just condemning the Nazis, laying wreaths, or having a minute’s silence is not enough”.

“Even as the world learnt of the carnage [of 7th October], social media was blaming the Jews themselves, pinning the blame on Israel. Rallies calling for an Intifada and demanding ‘from the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free’ mean wiping Israel from the map. Ignoring or excusing such murderous calls would repeat 1930s events”.

“The Memorial will ensure visitors understand why Jewish people, abandoned during the Holocaust, feel the need for a Jewish state so powerfully and why eradicating Israel – and by implication all Jews living there – is so terrifying”, she declares.

Britain-Israel All Party Parliamentary Group

The Britain-Israel APPG hosted an online meeting with their parliamentary counterparts in the Knesset yesterday. A number of Conservative MPs and Lords – including CFI Parliamentary Chairman (Commons) Rt. Hon. Stephen Crabb MP, Vice Chair Rt. Hon. Theresa Villiers MP and CFI Officer Bob Blackman MP – heard personal testimonies from cross-party Knesset members about Hamas’s massacre on 7th October, including a moving account from Yesh Atid MK Debbie Biton.

Weapons located in Beit Hanoun, Gaza

In a press conference this afternoon, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that “it is striking…shocking that the brutality of the Hamas slaughter has receded so quickly in the memories of so many”.

The IDF has exposed a conversation between two Hamas terrorists, one of which was on the ground in Kibbutz Nirim where Israeli victims were shot and beheaded. In the intercepted conversation, the offsite terrorist instructs terrorists to “play” with severed heads.

The IDF has announced that 24 soldiers have been killed in Gaza since the start of Israel’s ground incursion.

Large barrages of rockets continue to be fired from Gaza towards Israel. Rockets once again reached central Israel today close to Modiin. Rockets were also fired towards Ramla and Ashkelon.

Israel’s northern border

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi said that the army was well prepared in every sector in case Israel faces an increased multi-front war. Speaking to the media, he said that Israel is “employing less than half the Air Force’s power in the Gaza Strip. Most of its strength is prepared and ready, with bombs attached to the wings, to depart and attack in other sectors as well as soon as it’s needed”.

Two IDF soldiers were injured last night after a Hezbollah drone attack on an IDF base in the Mount Dov area. In response, the IDF targeted a Hezbollah site in Lebanon.

Early afternoon today, an anti-tank missile was launched from Lebanon at an army post near Mattat. No injuries were reported. The IDF responded with artillery shelling.

Ahead of Hezbollah leader Nasrallah’s speech, the Metula area on Israel’s northern border was closed.
IDF spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari has said that the IDF are “deployed and ready”. “We are in a defensive posture. We are saying to the Lebanese people – don’t sacrifice your future for Hamas”.

Nasrallah speech

“There is no more legitimate and righteous battle from a humanitarian, moral and religious point of view as a battle that is fighting the Zionists”, said Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in his first speech since Hamas’ deadly massacre on 7th October and the increase of Hezbollah attacks on Israel’s northern border since.

“The action on October 7 caused a security, military, political, psychological and moral earthquake among the Israeli entity. This battle will leave its effects on the present and the future for many years to come and reveals their weakness – Israel is weaker than a spider’s web”.

“What is happening in Gaza is a decisive and historic battle – there are two goals today: the first is to stop the aggression in Gaza, and the second is that the resistance and Hamas in particular will win”, he added.
“Hezbollah entered the campaign since October 8. The Islamic resistance in Lebanon has been waging a real battle since October 8 that only those who are right on the border can feel”.

Speaking about hostage returns, Nasrallah gloated that “Israel has never been able to bring back hostages without negotiations”.

The speech was not aired on Israeli media channels.

Operation Swords of Iron

102 aid trucks carrying medical supplies, food, water and clothing entered Gaza from the Rafah crossing yesterday.

According to the Palestinian Authority for Crossings, 620 foreign nationals are expected to evacuate the Gaza Strip today through the Rafah crossing including 367 American citizens.

The IDF have said that approximately 130 Hamas terrorists were killed on Thursday by their troops. This morning, the IDF revealed it killed the commander of Hamas’s Sabra-Tel al-Hawa Battalion, Mustafa Dalloul, in an overnight airstrike.

“Our ground, aerial and naval forces continue to operate to elimate Hamas’ chain of command terrorist capabilities”, said IDF Spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari.

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said today to U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken that there will be “no pause in the fighting without the return of hostages”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also said this afternoon that “without the return of the hostages, there will be no ceasefire, not even a temporary one”.

West Bank

For the third time this week, IDF forces have entered the West Bank city of Jenin to carry our counter-terror operations.

Since 7th October, The IDF have arrested 1,260 wanted Palestinians across the West Bank including over 760 affiliated with Hamas.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken

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