Open Letter to Wes Streeting MP over “massive racist” charge

Open Letter to Wes Streeting MP

Last Monday (Oct 17) you used the words “massive racist” in a Tweet about my LBC interview in which I opposed the Home Affairs Select Committee’s demonisation of the Labour Party.

“Massive racist” – this is hardly appropriate language to direct at a Jewish member of your own party, especially as you have been a main player in a public campaign complaining of incivility among members. It is however entirely consistent with the language used over recent months to discredit members who support both freedom and justice for Palestine and Jeremy Corbyn’s project to transform the way we do politics.

Let’s be clear – if people claiming to support justice for Palestine genuinely abuse Jews as Jews, then they are no friends of mine and I will not defend them. There are a miniscule number of such instances in the Labour Party. Meanwhile, racism against Muslims and other religious and ethnic minorities is rampant throughout British society.

Many of the charges you so eagerly repeat have been comprehensively debunked. But the media goes on uncritically regurgitating unproven allegations of antisemitism, painting an incredible picture of a Labour Party dominated by Jew-hating racist bullies. Protesting to the contrary has been taken as proof of antisemitism. This is Catch-22, McCarthyism and Alice in Wonderland all rolled into one!

You claim to be a friend of Palestine. You are definitely not a friend of Jeremy Corbyn. This explains your hostility to me when I attacked the Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC) Report on Antisemitism in the UK. You are so eager to undermine your own party leader that you embrace the HASC’s partisan assault on him and wield the allegation of racism to deny legitimacy to someone who disagrees with you.

In supporting the HASC report, you are backing a drive to re-write the way we understand antisemitism and other forms of racism. The pro-Israel lobby – supported by its allies in the drive to demonise Corbyn – are insisting on their own self-serving definition. They say Israel must not be challenged because many Jews attach their identity to it. But many Jews do not, while many vociferous friends of Israel are not Jews.

Under the shoddy “new definition” of antisemitism proposed by the HASC, hatred of Jews is to be treated differently to other racial, ethnic or religious hatreds, tying it uniquely to attitudes to a nation state.  Israel is now to be treated like a person who can be perceived as a victim of race hate. The implications of this are too numerous and alarming to be dealt with here.

Suffice it to say that if the “new definition” is taken up in every UK institution, as the HASC demands, Palestinians will not be able to argue against their oppression and I, as an anti-Zionist Jew, will be silenced, along with every other UK citizen concerned about justice in the Middle East. Far from protecting Jews against antisemitism, portraying us as insisting upon censorship in defence of the state of Israel can only stoke hostility against us.

On behalf of the many Jews who share my perspective, I challenge you to debate the issues with us in public.

Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi

Chingford LP                                                                                      [email protected]



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13 thoughts on “Open Letter to Wes Streeting MP over “massive racist” charge”

  1. Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi,

    I am glad of the opportunity to comment to you directly. I have already engaged in a public defence of you to a CLP member in my own constituency who described your words as “disgusting antisemitism” and said “6 million Jews were murdered by European Fascists unless we’ve forgotten that fact.”. I quoted your own words in the very link he himself had posted to demonstrate that you had not forgotten that fact.

    I am also very happy that I have finally heard a strong woman put that viciously prejudiced oaf Nick Ferrari firmly in his place. I believe that the way your interview has been spun is partly an act of petty revenge for the way you stood up to him and refused to be browbeaten. I was shocked by his deliberate introduction of the word conspiracy into that interview, twice. You didn’t say that. He did. No doubt he was following a loosely prepared script in which it was necessary for him to say it if you did not.

    I think your interview would, however, have benefited from some specific examples of what you term “exploiting the Holocaust”. I think it would be a good idea for you to be ready to explain more precisely what you mean by that phrase in the future.

    Best wishes.

    John Spencer-Davis

    1. I too believe the interview would have benefited from more detailed explanations of the points being rasied, however the interviewer did not really allow Naomi Wimborner-Idrissi to elaborate in her answers due to the aggressiveness of the “fact finding”. I understand the requirement for “journalists” to push for real answers but some answers need more that just a one word reply to be put in context.

  2. What is lost sight of is what is happening right now to Palestine and the Palestinian people.
    Is that just a coincidence?
    Are not anti-Palestineism and anti-Palestinianism forms of racism and anti-semitism?
    Should we not be bringing the emphasis back to Palestine – not Israel?
    Are not Palestinians of equal importance as Israelis?
    Is not excessive concentration on Israel a means of denying proper consideration of Palestine?
    Attacks and killings of Palestinians are taking place daily.
    Is anyone concerned about these unfortunate victims?
    If not, why not?

  3. John is right that the furore about alleged antisemitism has indeed put Palestinians and their fate into the shade. This is what the initiators of the witch hunt against pro-Palestinian activists intended.
    Other contributors are also right that the issues I touched on in the interview need far more detailed consideration. This is part of the job of Free Speech on Israel. Keep following us!

  4. I am humbled and so excited to be associated with FSOI. It is extermly comforting and reassuring that decent people of all faiths and background exist in abundunce. Gives me great encouragement to fight all forms of prejudice and injustice. Thank you all so much!

  5. Brilliant letter Naomi as was your performance on LBC when confronted by that bigoted interviewer. But it is true as you say that this argument is distracting attention from the way Israel is treating Palestinians. So British Palestinians like me need to be shouting from the rooftops and our views shared by all who support human rights. Kamel Hawwash, Vice-Chair of PSC has written excellent articles and blogs doing just this and his views should be shared massively, to borrow a word from that arch-Zionist, Wes Streeting.

  6. Typical regressive left racism. You only publish replies that agree with your distorted and delusional rants.

    You are too frightened to enter into real debate because you know the truth:You have nothing to say and you say it too loudly.

    Well here this: UM ISRAEL CHAI. The State of Israel will be around a lot longer than you miserable rabble of self-loathing Jews. Actually, you are not Jews at all. If you really want to make the lives of those who live in Gaza/Judea and Samaria better then start tackling Hamas and Hezbollah.

    1. We don’t publish abusive comments; in order to tell you that, I had to publish you just this once

    2. Paul,
      Did you mean ‘hear’ this?
      People like you should be excluded on the ground of illiteracy.
      How can anyone so ignorant provide any kind of informed or intelligent comment?
      You are simply not worth reading or considering at all seriously.
      Why do ignoramuses like you ever expect to get a hearing?

  7. No state is immune from becoming like the Nazis.As a result of losing the the First World War Germany had to pay out massive reparations to Britain and France which bankrupted the country and led to disastrous inflation.Germany seeing itself as victims allowed the rise of Hitler and National Socialism.Equally Israel as a result of the holocaust we see the same attitude of paranoia and of being victims.Just as the Nazis invaded land which they said belonged to them is a forerunner of the Israelis illegally taking over Palestinian land and having the same attitude to its people,the same view that the Germans had of the Jews.A young Jewish man I met in New Zealand described the Palestinians as “rubbish people”despite the fact that the Palestinians are a Semitic race.I rest my case.

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