Labour MP Dr Rosena Allin-Khan revealed that she visited the Israeli embassy in London after clashing with the deputy ambassador over a recent Gaza trip.
Allin-Khan, who was an emergency doctor before she became MP for Tooting in 2016, went to Gaza and the West Bank earlier this year, to explore the issues Palestinians face when accessing hospital treatment.
She later spoke to news outlets about the “truly horrific cases, including of Palestinian babies being born prematurely, but because of permit issues mothers were sent back to Gaza shortly after birth, with some babies dying alone in hospital”.
In order to highlight the issue of families being separated because of security concerns, she took part in a “lively” debate with Deputy Israeli Ambassador Sharon Bar-Li on BBC radio “which continued in the green room”.
Anti-Semitism: A thread.
— Dr Rosena Allin-Khan (@DrRosena) July 30, 2019
The diplomat later invited Allin-Khan to continue the discussion at the embassy, which Allin-Khan accepted. Last week she tweeted that it had been “a pleasure” to meet Bar-Li again, adding that it was a “constructive discussion”. However, this prompted online abuse from Palestinian supporters.
One user said Allin-Khan had been “bought by the Zionists for a bag of silver and a duplex in Marbella”. Another said she had been “bought and paid for by the Israeli lobby”. Another said Allin-Khan “wants to be the next UK prime minister, all starts at the Israeli embassy”.
So last week, I went to the Israeli Embassy to discuss it, in the hope to get some traction, to improve the permit system – which will benefit thousands of Palestinians waiting for hospital treatment.
— Dr Rosena Allin-Khan (@DrRosena) July 30, 2019
Tweeting her response this week, Allin-Khan took aim not just at those who had “tried to discredit what I was saying” about Palestinian families being separated, but also at those “purporting to support the Palestinian cause”.
She said they were “spouting horrible antisemitic abuse… It’s disgusting. These views are abhorrent, but also misguided and ill-informed.”
She said both groups – those who attacked her for speaking about Palestinians and those who attacked her for meeting Israeli diplomats – were “racists [who] think they can sit behind a keyboard here in the UK and troll someone genuinely trying to help”.
Her Twitter thread received online support from Labour MP Wes Streeting as well as the CST’s deputy communications director Dave Rich, who said it “illustrated the difference between pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist”.
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.