STATE OF HATE 2024 Feature



SADLY, AS IS so often the case, whenever there is conflict in the Middle East there is fallout on the streets of Britain. Instances of antisemitic and Islamophobic hate crime have sharply in the months since the horrifying Hamas attack on 7 October and the subsequent Israeli bombing and invasion of Gaza.

At times of heightened emotions, when people are understandably angry at the suffering they are witnessing abroad, some have wrongly held whole communities in the UK responsible for the actions of foreign governments or people of the same religion.

Tell MAMA, which records and monitors anti-Muslim incidents, recorded 895 cases in the six weeks that followed Hamas’s deadly terror attacks. The figures covering 7 October to 19 November demonstrated a six-fold increase in cases from the 2022 figure of 142 cases (110 offline, 32 online).

An even more dramatic increase was recorded by the Community Security Trust, which tracks antisemitic incidents. In just 47 days following the start of the conflict they recorded at least 1,563 antisemitic incidents across the UK. This is the highest ever total reported to CST across a period of this length, and they have been operating since 1984.

However, the result has not just been a horrifying spike in hate crime but also widespread use of discriminatory language on social media and at demonstrations that, while not reaching a criminal threshold, is still dangerous and deeply hurtful to the communities being targeted.

At the most extreme end there are those who engage in violent or pro-genocide antisemitism, or outright Holocaust denial or revisionism as a part of their criticism of the actions of the Israeli state. More common are those who engage in conspiratorial antisemitism and use antisemitic tropes, especially in relation to supposed Jewish power and influence.

is the suggestion that Jews, the “Zionist lobby”, the “Israel lobby” or even Mossad are somehow steering UK domestic politics to such an extent that political leaders cannot be trusted. Another common antisemitic position is the implicit or explicit blaming of Jewish people as a group for the policies of the Israeli state. This includes those who use the term “Zionism” solely to abuse Jewish people, rather than as a descriptor of a broad and varied political, cultural, social and/or religious ideology.

When it comes to the current Islamophobia, one of the most common attacks that Muslims have faced during the current conflict is that “Muslims are terrorists”. While it is right to call Hamas terrorists, the idea that all Muslims support Hamas or have sympathies towards terrorism is of course racist. This is something that many Muslims and non- Muslims of Asian heritage face whenever there is a terrorist attack or war in the Middle East. Central here is the idea that Muslims are uniquely violent or that their religion inherently encourages it. One of the more common ways this is presented is people demanding Muslims apologise or condemn violence carried out by other Muslims to whom they have no connection.


It is the dramatic rise in racist hate crime and the prevalence of antisemitism and Islamophobia across society that is most concerning at the moment. However, as is always the case, many on the organised far right have seen the ongoing conflict as an opportunity to exploit anger and advance their own divisive politics.

As expected, the British far right is split depending on which minority community the individual or organisation generally dislikes most. Those who primarily push Islamophobia have been vocally pro- Israel while those motivated by antisemitism have been pushing pro-Palestine content. The latter is usually the more extreme elements within the far right.

Britain’s most active fascist organisation, Patriotic Alternative (PA), has regularly discussed the ongoing war and has used it to push the “White Genocide” theory, an overtly antisemitic version of the “Great Replacement”. PA has claimed that one of the motivations for Israel’s actions is to consciously push Palestinians into Europe as part of a Jewish plot to replace the white population.

The group has always been extremely antisemitic, so it comes as no surprise that it has used the war to justify its hateful prejudice. For example, PA’s neo- Nazi leader Mark Collett has seized the opportunity to spread his longstanding Holocaust denial, posting: “We have now reached the point where gullible Westerners are being fed the fanciful tale of babies being roasted alive in an oven. […] This narrative has been used ever since the end of World War 2 in order to instil White guilt, it will now be used to call for the complete destruction of Gaza.”

Similar to PA, is the predictable reaction of the now- irrelevant former leader of the British National Party, Nick Griffin. Like Collett, he too has used the ongoing war to try and promote Holocaust denial. “Every Western European alive has had a lifetime of being shown those terrible pictures of the piles of corpses at Dachau and Belsen,” posted Griffin on Telegram. “How is this footage from Gaza any different? Only that the dead at Dachau & Belsen were the victims of callous neglect, supply lines bombed to oblivion and – most of all – typhus. Some were undoubtedly murdered by the Nazis, but most DIED.” He has also argued that antisemitism has gone from “hating Jews for no reason” to “saying Jews should stop killing babies in Gaza” which he believes means “The Zionist have thrown away their Holocaust©️ cudgel.”

In November last year Griffin appeared on the Blood Brothers podcast, hosted by the Islamist extremist and Deputy Editor of 5Pillars, Dilly Hussain. More recently, the founder of Britain First, Jim Dowson, also appeared on the show. Clearly, both Islamist and far-right extremists are using the war in Gaza to unite around their common antisemitism.


There is a section of the far right that, while hating Muslims, prioritises antisemitism. However, there are also obsessively Islamophobic activists and organisations who praise Israel.

Britain First, for example, have supported and celebrated Israel’s reaction, writing numerous posts like, “Israel bombs multiple targets in the Gaza strip. Could you imagine Boris Johnson dealing with Britain’s enemies like this?”

However, the best example of this is Stephen Lennon (AKA Tommy Robinson). While he was leader of the English Defence League, there was a small Jewish Division. In 2016 he visited Israel, and in May 2021 he attended a pro-Israel demonstration in London, draping himself in the Israeli flag. His attendance was quickly and roundly condemned by leading figures within the Jewish community. More recently, his attempt to “report on” a rally against antisemitism in London in November resulted in his arrest. Despite all this, his longstanding support of Israel hasn’t stopped his occasional embrace of racial pseudoscience and conspiratorial antisemitism such as his article Tommy’s Statement: The Jewish Question, released during the pandemic.

Since the start of the war in Gaza, Lennon has posted pro-Israel and anti-Palestinian and anti-Muslim content constantly. He has also pushed a version of the Great Replacement conspiracy theory, warning that, “insidious political interests,” are “attempting to pave the way to push Gazan ‘refugees’ into the West (which would no doubt free up a lot of land in Gaza).” Unlike Patriotic Alternative however, who overtly state that this is a plot by “the jews”, Lennon is more vague and instead highlights the Islamist threat posed by Muslim Palestinians. “How about go fuck yourselves, not welcome, don’t want them, they can live in that radical Islamist shithole called Gaza. We have enough murderous beardy wierdys here already,” read one post on Telegram.


While commenting regularly on events in the Middle East, much of the far right, including Lennon, have focused more on pro-Palestinian activity within the UK, especially the series of large demonstrations in London. This bubbled over into street activism in November when far-right activists descended on London.

As was the case during the Black Lives Matter demonstrations in 2020, rumours had spread online that the Cenotaph might be desecrated by protestors. Tensions were significantly ramped up in the preceding week by the then-Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who posted on Twitter that it was “entirely unacceptable to desecrate Armistice Day with a hate march through London.” Most shockingly, Braverman proceeded to justify any grievances that far-right demonstrators might hold against the police, noting what she described as “a perception that senior police officers play favourites when it comes to protesters.”

Anger spread further when Radical Right commentator Douglas Murray tweeted: “UK Hamas supporters […] plan to defame our war-dead and desecrate the Cenotaph itself. This is the tipping point. If such a march goes ahead then the people of Britain must come out and stop these barbarians.” Unsurprisingly he failed to attend himself, preferring to whip up others.

Despite the fact that the planned march was never due to pass the Cenotaph and the area around Whitehall, rumours spread fast that pro-Palestine demonstrations would desecrate the monument to Britain’s war dead. Up until two weeks before the event, the football hooligan world had shown little interest in the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. However, convinced the Cenotaph could face attack, they began to mobilise. The hooligan chat groups saw an outpouring of vile racism and threats, and one WhatsApp group saw its numbers double in seven days as hooligans and racists piled in. The day before the demonstrations, HOPE not hate raised the alarm about what we were seeing in the groups, which were awash with terrorist videos, vile racism and threats of violence. There were even links shared to buy high- calibre crossbows, with many commenting how they would like one to take out their opponents. Lennon added fuel to fire in a series of videos and emails calling for all British men to come into London to make a stand.

The day saw 1,500 far-right activists and hooligans arrive in London, and a bloody confrontation with police, where officers responded to volleys of punches and flying traffic cones with baton-charges, resulting in at least 92 far-right activists being arrested. Tommy Robinson’s decision to jump in a taxi shortly after he had arrived in Chinatown followed by about 200 right- wing protesters has not gone down too well within the hooligan fraternity, many of whom resented his fame and wealth anyway.


Just as the far right has been divided over who to support in the ongoing war in Ukraine, so too are they over the conflict in the Middle East. Activists and organisations have simply applied the old adage that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” This doesn’t mean that large sections of the far right don’t hate both Muslims and Jews, but most have chosen a side based on which community they see as the bigger threat.

Broadly, the more extreme elements of the movement prioritise antisemitism while the more moderate end focuses on Muslims. Some see it as further evidence that “the Jews” wield secret world power, while others are using Hamas as proof that all Muslims are terrorists. Both positions are reprehensible and hold whole religious and ethnic groups responsible for the actions of governments and groups over which they have no control or allegiance.

However, people on all sides of the political spectrum are engaging in racism, either consciously or unconsciously, when discussing and protesting this conflict. Some with no affiliation to the far right have carried out horrendous hate crimes. So while
it is always important to understand and monitor the actions and beliefs of the far right, we have to remember that they are often merely the most extreme or organised manifestation of wider societal prejudices.



“State of HATE 2024: Pessimism, Decline, and the Rising Radical Right” is available now. This guide offers the most comprehensive and insightful analysis of far-right extremism in Britain today. Secure your free copy now.



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