On January 14, 2024, 100 days after the October 7 Massacre, London’s Trafalgar Square hosted a rally in support of Israel and in solidarity with the hostages. This was my speech:
Romi Gonen has an infectious sense of humour. The middle of five children, Romi, 23, is the glue holding her family together. A loyal and devoted friend, Clumsy—but a dancer. A waitress, working to fund her next big adventure around the world. The light in a world that went dark.
On October 7, Romi was at the Nova music festival. Dancing with strangers at the prime of their lives, having the time of their lives, marked down for death.
At dawn, Hamas death squads invaded. By dusk, one in ten of those partygoers would be dead. From the killing fields, Romi called her mother Meirav, who listened helplessly on the phone as her daughter was abducted into Gaza. Abducted by the men who burned, beheaded, and raped their way through Israel that day.
For one hundred days, Romi Gonen has been a hostage of the Hamas Rapist Regime. I told her mother Meirav I was coming here today and asked her what message she wants to share with you. She said: Don’t look away, and don’t let others look away. Only light will triumph over darkness, the light we shine by standing together, keeping each other warm in the cold. That is your mission; that is our mission. To shine light, so others can see. So they cannot look away.
Because trapped with Romi in the Hamas Terror Dungeons are so many hostages that if they stood on each other’s shoulders, they would reach a height of four Nelson’s Columns. And captive with them are our hearts. Captive, as it says on these dog tags: “Halev shelanu shavui be’Aza.” Our hearts are captive in Gaza. It also says: BRING THEM HOME NOW.
The pro-Hamas, pro-Houthi mob that filled these streets yesterday wants to silence us. But I need you all to shout. Shout for those who cannot speak. Shout for Romi. Shout for the Bibas family and one-year-old Kfir. Shout for Nadav. Shout for Hersh Goldberg-Polin, his left arm blown off below the elbow by Hamas grenades. Shout for Oded Lifshitz, 83, shot in the hand as he tried to bolt the door of his safe room and save his wife. Shout for all 136.
Shout so they can hear you all the way up in the ivory towers of the Red Cross in Geneva and all the way down in the Terror Dungeons of Hamas: BRING. THEM. HOME. NOW!
It has been one hundred days since October 7. One hundred days OF October 7. One hundred days – when time has stood still.
Forgive me for repeating the obvious. We didn’t start this war. We didn’t want this war. We didn’t even expect this war. Hamas broke a ceasefire and declared war on us with the bloodiest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust.
We are fighting to end this war, and we are fighting to end this war with our hostages back home, and with Hamas NEVER AGAIN able to slaughter our friends and family as it has spent day and night telling us it wants to do again and again!
Because we know there is no future for the Jewish People or the State of Israel in a world in which an army of terror can reduce whole families to human ash from Auschwitz, and get away with it. No future if Hamas emerges free and emboldened to do it again, free and emboldened—as the hate parades through London want it to emerge from this war it started. And so we fight. Not because we want to, but because we must. Because the forces that rise up in every generation have risen up in ours.
We don’t want the world’s sympathy. Israel exists because we’re sick of its tears. We demand the world’s respect. We demand its respect because we are doing exactly what they would do if subjected to such a barbaric assault, exactly what they would like to think they would be capable of doing to bring their children home safe. And people respect you when you stand up for yourself. Stand up against the bullies. Stand with Israel!
October 7 brought out the worst of our enemies and the best of us. It shone a light on a nation of everyday heroes, who drove into the fire to rescue strangers from slaughter. Who grabbed what little firepower, to defend their homes. Who discovered fire in their bellies, to fight for their children’s and parents’ freedom.
And we need you to be everyday heroes, everyday heroes who stand for what is right. Because that is who we are. Jewish history has always been about the courage to do what’s right. To be the dissidents who look around the world and say: this is crazy!
Our enemies are trying, to coin a phrase, to Gazalight us. They are trying to make us doubt our humanity, doubt our morality, doubt our sanity. But if anyone thinks we are going to abandon the hostages in the hands of the Hamas Rapist Regime—it is their humanity, their morality, their sanity that must stand in the dock.
We choose life. And we need you.
Come to Israel on solidarity missions. Volunteer. Bear witness. Donate. Write to your MPs. Get your friends and family to do the same. Wear your dog tags till the last hostage is home. Be part of this moment in history. Be part of this moment of togetherness, this moment of global Jewish solidarity. Use your voice. Be proud of it.
We are not alone, and free democracies stand with us. We have friends. But those friends are feeling intimidated right now. They feel scared to do what is right and stand by our side as we bring to justice the terrorist monsters threatening us with more October 7s.
And they need your help. I want to say something not only as an official Israeli spokesman, but as a proud son of British Jewry, and I want to thank Tzemach Productions for flying me out to be part of this moment with my home community.
We know the fundamentally decent people of Britain, and His Majesty’s Government, know that Hamas rides roughshod over every value they hold dear, and know we are fighting for humanity, on the frontlines of humanity.
The British public is watching today’s rally on a split-screen, split between our display of decency and yesterday’s parade of hate. They see the sea of British flags—a far smaller protest than yesterday and so much more love for Britain!
Here, nobody is calling for Houthi terror attacks on British targets, like the mobs calling for Yemen to “make them proud, turn another ship around.”
Here, nobody is calling for intifada—that means more 7/7 attacks—or distributing leaflets glorifying proscribed terrorist organisations. Here, nobody is storming restaurants, or turning the centre of London into a no-go zone for thousands of law-abiding citizens.
The British public can see that many of the people marching since the October 7 Massacre gave them the thrill of their lives, marching to save Hamas, are also calling for attacks on Britain.
On one side, Hamas rapists and Houthi pirates. On the other side, Israel and the United Kingdom. I know which side I choose. The fight against Hamas is not just Israel’s fight. It is humanity’s fight, humanity’s fight against barbarism.
So I beseech you: Find that courage to fight for hope. Hope for peace in a post-Hamas world, peace with any and all of our neighbours willing to regard us, in the Land of Israel and the Jewish Diaspora, as human beings worthy of basic human dignity.
For as long as deep in our broken hearts, that life-affirming Jewish soul still yearns, even in the valley of the shadow of death, we know, all hope is not yet lost.
The dead will never walk again, those burned, beheaded, butchered by Hamas, and the brave men and women who have fallen as heroes. But we can still fight for the living. Fight for the living buried alive. Fight like lions. Fight like our lives and your lives and their lives depend on it because they do. Fight to bring them home NOW.
The State of Israel stands firm by the sacred pledge that has guided us ever since we reclaimed our sovereignty in our ancient homeland: the People of Israel will go to the ends of the earth to bring our people home to safety and their tormentors to justice.
One hundred days after October 7, one day after yet another hate parade in London, we stand here outnumbered and outmanned, yes, but uncowed, unafraid, united. Holding our heads up high, determined to climb out of our darkest hour and light up that darkness with our love of each other and our love of Israel.
After October 7, nothing can ever be the same again.
Never forgive. Never forget. NEVER AGAIN.
Thank you. Keep Calm and Am Yisrael Chai!