Rachel Riley has said that New Year’s Eve “feels sombre” and hopes 2024 will bring a change amid the conflict in Gaza and Israel.
The Countdown star, 37, said the highlight for her this year was being made an MBE at Windsor Castle for her work in raising awareness of the Holocaust and combating antisemitism.
In an Instagram post on Sunday, Riley wrote that “Holocaust education feels present and urgent” since the attack by Hamas on October 7.
She said the group, a proscribed terrorist organisation by the UK government, were brutal “against men, women, children, Holocaust survivors, foreign workers, Israeli Arabs, and anyone else who was unlucky enough to have been in the vicinity of Hamas during their attacks”.
Riley added: “As a result, incidents of anti-Jewish hate are surging around the world and of course this New Year’s Eve feels sombre.”
She also wrote: “I hope, as every decent person does, for the remaining 139 hostages in Gaza to return home to their families, and for an end to the violence in Gaza and the region as soon as possible that allows for stable and safe home for everyone there to be able to live in peace.”
Riley also said she is “grateful to be in the relative safety of Britain” and hopes for a miracle next year in the region.
Since the conflict, she has spoken at protests against antisemitism and has in recent years been a vocal critic of Labour’s handling of alleged antisemitism within the party.