From our Managing Director: The Recklessness of Admitting Gazan Refugees

The proposition to bring Gazan refugees into the UK is not only misguided but perilous. Labour MPs such as Sam Tarry and Jess Phillips seem detached from the stark realities that accompany such a decision. They argue that Gazans, portrayed as a “highly skilled and well-educated workforce,” would benefit the UK. However, this naive romanticism ignores the inherent dangers and practical absurdities of the situation.

Let’s start with the fundamental and glaringly obvious point: Gaza is governed by Hamas, a terrorist organisation responsible for the heinous atrocities on October 7th. The Hamas founding charter commits the organisation to wage jihad against Israel and the West ad infinitum. Hamas leadership outright rejects any peaceful resolution to the conflict, and does not acknowledge the existence of Israel. Sadly, this reticence towards any semblance of peace with their Jewish neighbours is not limited to Hamas leadership, but profoundly entrenched in the Gazan psyche.

Reputable polls and studies, including those conducted by international and Arab research institutes such as the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research, consistently show overwhelming support for Hamas among Gazans, even post October 7th, indicating a deep-rooted ideological alignment that is hostile to Western values and security. It is sheer madness to consider importing individuals from this environment without acknowledging the substantial risk of importing those same extremist ideologies. The nebulous notion that Hamas-aligned Gazans with strong convictions for violent jihad will magically shed these engrained beliefs at the moment they cross into the UK is the sort of fantasy that only fools like Tarry and Phillips could conjure up.

The recent revocation of the visa of Dana Abuqamar, a Palestinian student who expressed joy over the October 7th attacks, should serve as a stark warning. Her sentiments reflect a broader and deeply concerning mindset that cannot be ignored. Yet, Labour MPs continue to press for a refugee scheme akin to the Homes for Ukraine programme, conveniently overlooking the profound differences between Ukrainians fleeing Russian aggression and Gazans living under Hamas rule. The particulars of the programme aside, there is an obvious distinction between the two groups: Ukrainians aren’t brainwashed by their schools to become jihadi martyrs and to profoundly hate the West – its values, liberties, and freedoms.

Moreover, advocating for Britain to bear this burden is not only dangerous but also an abdication of regional responsibility. Egypt, the immediate neighbor to Gaza, has conspicuously refused to open its borders. Why should the UK shoulder this responsibility when Arab states, with far more cultural and geographical proximity, remain inactive? If there truly is a moral obligation to accept these refugees, let nations sympathetic to Hamas, such as Turkey and South Africa, demonstrate their commitment to this cause. Turkey allows Hamas to maintain a large presence within the country, and President Erdogan recently boasted that Hamas terrorists are being treated in Turkish hospitals, and that he flatly rejects that Hamas is a terrorist organisation. One might think he would welcome the opportunity to welcome more Gazans.

The proposition is not just a matter of security but also of sheer practicality. The notion that Gazan refugees would seamlessly integrate into British society is laughable. The vetting process for individuals from a Hamas-controlled region would be fraught with insurmountable challenges. The risk of radical elements slipping through is not a mere possibility; it is an inevitability. Britain’s first duty is to protect its own citizens, and this harebrained scheme fundamentally undermines that responsibility.

The Labour MPs advocating this plan must also recognise the logistical and social strain such an influx would impose. The UK is already grappling with significant domestic issues, including a strained public service sector and a fragile social fabric. Adding potentially radicalised individuals to this mix would exacerbate existing problems and create new ones. Mightn’t we better direct our attention to addressing the Islamic extremists within our borders, before we bolster their numbers?

The National Jewish Assembly vehemently opposes any policy to welcome Gazan “refugees.” The call for Britain to accept Gazan refugees is not a gesture of humanitarianism; it is a suicidal policy that must be firmly rejected.

Steve Winston is the Managing Director of the National Jewish Assembly

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