It is difficult to find words to describe the barbarity of the Hamas terror attacks we have witnessed in Israel. The merciless and degrading slaughter of over one thousand civilians, including so many women, children and babies offends every value we hold dear.
That is why I was clear in deeply moving ceremonies we held in Bushey and Borehamwood synagogues that I view this not just as an attack the people of Israel or the Jewish community but on all of us. It is an affront to decency, rightness and humanity.
The Prime Minister and the whole government, including me as both your MP and as Deputy Prime Minister, stand in solidarity with the people of Israel and in support of its right to self defence.
I know that this is a deeply worrying time for the Jewish community. Many people have friends and family in Israel, and many more fear for consequences on our streets here in the UK. We must guard against the terror and hate of this attack spilling over to terror and hate against the Jewish community in the days and weeks to come. The Home Secretary has committed an additional £3 million to the Community Security Trust to protect synagogues and Jewish schools. And I know from my conversations with the local police that they are increasing their activity and visibility.
As a staunch friend of Israel and the Jewish community I will continue in my unwavering support. I have no doubt that all of us will be tested in the days and weeks ahead but I also take comfort in the strength and togetherness that the community has already shown. That spirit of light and hope will ultimately prevail over darkness.