He lashed out at a wider lack of support for Israel since the attack by Hamas terrorists on October 7, which left 1,400 dead and triggered an attack on Palestinian territory that has killed thousands more.
London was rocked by another day of angry demonstrations which saw fireworks thrown at police in Trafalgar Square, injuring four. Footage shared on social media showed largely peaceful protests giving way to ugly scenes of pyrotechnics being hurled amid chants of ‘smash the Zionist settler state’.
Volunteers selling remembrance poppies were also surrounded by protesters inside Charing Cross station, while families leaving a McDonald’s in the capital were hounded amid a row over Israeli franchised restaurants giving free and discounted food to IDF soldiers.
Mr Dowden told Sky News‘s Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips programme: ‘We shouldn’t see this just as a matter for the Jewish community. We should see this is as a matter for all of British society.
‘It is not acceptable to our British values that there should be that kind of intimidation.
‘And I have to say to you that I am a bit disappointed that if you look at the moral indignation and the clarity that we saw after the murder of George Floyd in the United States with the Black Lives Matter movement, we haven’t seen, across civic society (sic), the same kind of moral clarity showing that Jewish lives matter.
Mr Dowden told Sky News ‘s Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips programme: ‘I am a bit disappointed that if you look at the moral indignation and the clarity that we saw after the murder of George Floyd in the United States with the Black Lives Matter movement, we haven’t seen, across civic society, the same kind of moral clarity showing that Jewish lives matter.’
Oliver Dowden warned that Britain’s Jews were facing mounting ‘intimidation’ in the wake of major protests in London and other cities over the bloody retaliatory assault on Gaza .
George Floyd died in Minneapolis in May 2020 after a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes
‘I think that is a cause of hurt to the Jewish community and it is something that disappoints me as well. I see it, whether it is on our campuses or elsewhere, we need to send a very clear signal that Jewish people are safe in this country, not just for the sake of Jewish people but for the sake of British society.’
He added: ‘People need to understand that anti-Semitism is racism, full stop. And the same abhorrence that we show to other forms of racism, we should show towards anti-Semitism.’
Scotland Yard revealed last month that it had recorded a 1,353 per cent increase in anti-Semitic offences in October compared to the same period last year. Islamophobic offences were also up 140 per cent in the wake of the attack by Hamas on Israel.
The Metropolitan Police says it has arrested 29 people in connection with crimes ranging from terrorism offences to breaching a dispersal order that was enacted by the force after fireworks were hurled at officers, injuring four.
The growing death toll since Hamas’s deadly raids on October 7 has sparked a host of protests in the UK, with thousands of pro-Palestinian supporters taking to the streets of London, Glasgow and Belfast on Saturday to demand a ceasefire.
The British Transport Police confirmed it was making inquiries into anti-Israel chanting on the tube network by demonstrators in the capital, with some protesters calling for revolution against Tel Aviv.
In one video highlighted to the Metropolitan Police on X, formerly known as Twitter, what appear to be pro-Palestinian supporters can be heard chanting: ‘Smash the Zionist settler state.’
A 24-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated offence after footage was posted on social media which appeared to show a man praising Hamas, the Met said.