Demonstrators sit at Charing Cross Station, holding placards and waving flags, in support to to demand a ceasefire and humanitarian aid into Gaza.
Oliver Dowden has condemned the response by “civic society” to last month’s attacks on Israel by Hamas.
In outspoken comments, the deputy prime minister suggested that the deaths of Jewish people on October 7 differently to George Floyd’s murder in 2020, which led to the worldwide Black Lives Matter movement.
Around 1400 Israelis died in the Hamas attack, with hundreds more taken to Gaza as hostages.
In response to Israel’s retaliatory air strikes on Gaza, which have killed thousands of civilians, pro-Palestine marches have taken place across the UK demanding a ceasefire in the conflict.
Home secretary Suella Braverman caused controversy by describing demonstrations in London as “hate marches”, while a row has also erupted over plans to have another march on Armistice Day next weekend.
Asked about the pro-Palestine marches on Sky News this morning, Dowden said: “I have to say to you, I’m a bit disappointed that if you look at the moral indignation, and the clarity that we saw after the murder of George Floyd in the United States with the Black Lives Matter movement, we haven’t seen across civic society the same kind of moral clarity showing that Jewish lives matter.
“I think that is a cause of hurt to the Jewish community. And it is something that disappoints me and I see it whether it’s on our [university] campuses or elsewhere.
“We need to send a very clear signal that Jewish people are safe in this country, not just for the sake of Jewish people, but for the sake of British society.”
Presenter Trevor Phillips said: “Are you saying that you think that there is a fundamental problem in this society’s attitude towards Jews, in a now famous phrase that ‘Jews don’t count’ in the way that other minorities do?”
Dowden replied: “I think people need to understand that anti-semitism is racism, full stop. And the same abhorrence we show towards other types of racism we should show towards anti-semitism.
“It’s not an acceptable state of affairs when Jewish people don’t feel safe on the streets of this country because of intimidation and the police should take robust action on that.”
'I do have concerns over pro-Palestine marches.'
Deputy PM @OliverDowden says he's 'a bit disappointed that we haven't seen the same kind of morality saying Jewish Lives Matter as the Black Lives Matter movement.'#TrevorPhillipshttps://t.co/fhIHlpTGAF
📺 Sky 501 pic.twitter.com/tIYAYk9dAg
— Sky News (@SkyNews) November 5, 2023