London’s Metropolitan Police has been hung up for years about alleged “institutional racism.” Now, following Hamas’ terrorist attacks on October 7th, it has been revealed to have an anti-Israel problem, if not a problem with antisemitism.
Much like the BBC’s refusal to call Hamas terrorists … “terrorists,” Met officers have appeared unfazed when hearing crowds chanting for the liberation of “the concentration camp called Palestine” via means of “jihad, jihad, jihad.” There is a free speech argument for allowing these chants to be uttered, but the Met does not fall back on this. Instead, it says that “jihad” has a “number of meanings.”
Some days after these calls were heard on the streets of London, reports suggested that national counter-terrorism officers “downplayed” an alleged terror attack carried out in Britain for “Palestine.”
The past week has revealed sordid, anti-Israel—verging on, if not properly antisemitic—elements of London’s force. On Sunday, a man who led chants—led, not just participated in chants—of “from the river to the sea” at a 2021 pro-Palestine rally in London was found to be a Met Police advisor. That is to say that an individual—Attiq Malik, chairman of the London Communities Forum, a “strategic advisory body”—helping to “shape police policy and procedure at a strategic level” hopes to see the state of Israel wiped off the map entirely.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman has since described this chant as “a staple of anti-Semitic discourse.” Former London mayor advisor Atma Singh also commented that the presence of such sentiments among those advising the Met “shows why the [force] is so compromised in stamping out illegal terrorism support and antisemitism on protests.”
Upon the release of reports on Malik’s views, the Met was quick to cease relations. But it had—and still has—other problems to deal with.
On the same day, officials at the force said they were investigating a Met “leadership coordinator” alleged to have claimed that supporting Israel should be a hate crime. The Met told Mail Online that it was looking into the following edited comment posted in the name of Amina Ahmed, who describes herself as a “leadership program facilitator and project manager” at the Met Police:
I think at this point, if anyone openly agrees with the war in Gaza, they should be called out as Islamophobic and inciting hatred against Muslims.
That should be investigated as extremism. Whether the [counter-terrorism] world decides to act fairly and proportionately and treat IDF support as an extremist ideology, I don’t know.
It is worth noting that those already being investigated are not individual officers; they are individuals responsible for shaping the approach of all officers. One need only imagine the possible impact of such influences.
As Armistice Day approaches, Metropolitan Police officials say they are “concerned at rising levels of anti-Semitism”—“and Islamophobia”—but are likely to stop short of banning pro-Palestine rallies on this day altogether, despite intervention from the government. The actions of officers, should trouble erupt on Saturday, will be followed closely.