LFI parliamentarians push government on hostages, Iran and antisemitism

House of Commons marks a minute’s silence before the Prime Minister’s statement on Hamas’s attacks against Israel

Following the Prime Minister’s statement to the House of Commons following Hamas’s attack against Israel and the ongoing situation in Israel and Gaza, a number of LFI parliamentarians asked a series of questions to the Prime Minister in the debate to raise issues relating to the conflict.

On the around 200 Israelis currently being held hostage by Hamas in Gaza:

LFI vice-chair Diana Johnson MP raised the issue of Iran: “Hamas’s kidnapping of 200 Israelis is a stark reminder that the terrorist group have learned from their paymasters, the Iranian regime, who for years have promoted state hostage taking, including, of course, of UK nationals. Will the Prime Minister say a bit more about the steps that the UK Government are taking for the release of the British nationals who are currently held in Gaza?”

LFI parliamentary supporter Stella Creasy MP asked: “We in Walthamstow stand in solidarity with our neighbour, who is in Parliament today pleading for help to get her elderly parents back after they were brutally taken hostage by Hamas. We are also desperately worried about families from our community who are stuck in Gaza—UK citizens trying to get home. We believe that every life deserves the protection of international law, and that anyone who breaks it should be held to account. My constituents are also asking what more we can do by using our international connections. As the Prime Minister will have seen, it has been reported today that the Qataris have brokered a deal to ensure that Ukrainian children kidnapped in Russia are returned home to their families. What conversations has he had with the Qataris about whether they might play a similar role, stopping the violence in Gaza accordingly?”

LFI parliamentary supporter Jess Phillips MP started her question by stating that: “Hamas knew what would happen to the people that they purport to represent after their atrocious terrorist actions. They knew that it would rain down fear and pain and killing in the region. Anybody in our country who purports to support them deserves, as the Prime Minister says, the full force of the law.”

On the role of Iran and wider connections between anti-western and anti-Israel forces:

LFI parliamentary supporter Chris Bryant MP asked: “I wish that the horrific terrorist attacks by Hamas last week had been truly exceptional, but the truth is that they reminded me of what the Russians did last year in Bucha in Ukraine. They also brought to mind how the first place the Russians targeted in Kyiv was a Jewish cemetery. There is a pattern here, and actually there is a network around the world. So while of course we must ensure that Israel is able to do everything it can to defend itself—and we stand with every single person in this country who has a friend or family member either in Gaza or in Israel, who will be terrified about what will happen to them in the next few days—we also have to tackle this network, do we not? Does that not mean having some tough words with Qatar in particular about why it has hosted so many people from Hamas over recent years?”

And on the 580% increase in reported antisemitic incidents in the UK since the start of the conflict:

LFI parliamentary supporter Christian Wakeford MP asked: “On Saturday, I went to shul and sat next to a constituent whose cousin is one of the hostages. My thoughts and prayers go out not only to him, but to all families and hostages currently detained. While conflict escalates in the middle east, we see the effects on the streets here in Britain. I welcome the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition standing behind Israel’s right to defend itself and the £3 million increase in funding for the Community Security Trust. However, unfortunately, in the past week we have seen an increase of around 500% in antisemitic incidents and an 850% increase in suspicious behaviours, and even this weekend glorification of Hamas and genocidal chants on the streets of our cities, in some cases mere feet away from police officers. Will the Prime Minister join me in applauding the efforts of the CST in keeping the Jewish community safe, but also commit to ensuring that anyone found to be preaching this hate speech on our streets faces the full extent of the law?”

Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq asked: “I represent one of this country’s biggest Jewish communities, in my constituency of Hampstead and Kilburn. Following Hamas’s brutal attack on Israel, there has been an increase in antisemitic incidents in my local area. Most heartbreakingly, I have had emails from local parents who are very worried about their children going to a local Jewish school because aggressive men have been standing outside taking photos. Some of the parents have had their car tyres slashed. The Prime Minister has pledged support to Jewish institutions, but will he commit publicly to ensuring that the support actually reaches local Jewish schools? Will he provide some much-needed reassurance to parents in Hampstead and Kilburn?”

You can read the full statement and questions session here.