Charles Hymas, The Telegraph, October 12, 2023
Foreign students, academics and workers who commit anti-Semitic acts or praise Hamas face being expelled from Britain under plans being drawn up by the Home Office.
Robert Jenrick, the immigration minister, has commissioned officials in the department to consider how they could revoke visas on national security grounds where there is evidence of discrimination or support for the terror group in the wake of its attack on Israel.
It follows a similar move by Gérald Darmanin, France’s interior minister, who has ordered that all foreigners who commit anti-Semitic acts be expelled from the country immediately. Three have already been thrown out of France.
The UK can revoke visas for students, workers and visitors on national security grounds or if it is judged conducive to the public good to do so, provided there is “proportionate” evidence.
Vice-chancellors have already warned students that they face criminal investigations if they express support for Hamas terrorists following Saturday’s incursion.
Students are understood to have been reported to the police after Palestine societies at some universities praised Hamas on social media after the attack, in which hundreds of civilians were killed.
Academics have also been accused of justifying the attacks by Hamas militants on civilians in online posts, including one that said the killings were a “consequence” for “partying on stolen land”.
University College London confirmed that it was investigating an academic for reposting a comment made on Oct 7 saying that Palestinian “retaliation” had been “entirely justifiable”.
‘Basic norms of conduct’
A Home Office source told The Telegraph: “We’ve seen some sickening displays of anti-Semitism and glorification for the terrorism of Hamas.
“If those in the UK on visas behave in this manner, it is clearly conducive to the public good that they have their visa revoked and be removed, as the law permits.
“It’s important that the British Jewish community know that they are protected and we establish basic norms of conduct for those staying in the UK.”
It is understood some of the comments by students are already being reviewed by Home Office officials to establish whether and how they could take action to terminate their visas.
Gillian Keegan, the Education Secretary, has written to university vice-chancellors asking them to act “swiftly and decisively” to stamp out “implicit or explicit” threats to Jewish students.
“We have seen evidence of a number of student societies that support Palestinians sending out inflammatory messages that show support for Hamas, which is, as you know, a proscribed terrorist organisation,” wrote Ms Keegan.
Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, has also urged police to take a zero tolerance approach to stop and prosecute “anti-Semitic” displays of support for Hamas.
She said she expected the police to “use the full force of the law” against anyone displaying support for the terror group following social media reports showing people celebrating its attack.