RICHARD EDEN: Zac Goldsmith’s sister Jemima says she has become an ‘outcast’ after their brother Ben hits out at her over the Israel-Gaza conflict
Conflict in the Middle East is pitting brother against sister in some of the most elegant drawing rooms of west London.
Television and film producer Jemima Goldsmith has suggested she has become an ‘outcast’ after taking the opposite side to her brothers, the former Tory minister Lord (Zac) Goldsmith and financier Ben, on Israel’s response to the terrorist attacks by Hamas, the Islamist group which controls the Gaza Strip.
‘The bravest and hardest thing is to stand outside of your tribe in the interests of justice, even if it makes you an outcast,’ declares Jemima, 49, who converted to Islam before she married Imran Khan, the Pakistan cricket hero-turned-politician, in 1995. ‘Political tribalism is the enemy of justice and peace.’
Her Jewish father, the late billionaire tycoon Sir James Goldsmith, who was born Goldschmidt, fled France with his family when Nazi Germany overran the country in 1940. Her brother Ben suggests Jemima has become part of the ‘pro-Palestine mob’.
Posing the question online, Ben says: ‘What do they suggest Israel should, in fact, be doing right now in response to one of the worst, darkest terrorist atrocities the world has ever seen, committed against civilians on Israeli soil?
Television and film producer Jemima Goldsmith’s brother Ben (pictured) suggests Jemima has become part of the ‘pro-Palestine mob’
Jemima Goldsmith has suggested she has become an ‘outcast’ after taking the opposite side to her brothers, including the former Tory minister Lord (Zac) Goldsmith
‘Can anyone out there point me towards any genuine and rational suggestions from the pro-Hamas, sorry pro-Palestine, mob as to what exactly Israel should have done? I’ve seen none. There’s no country in the world that would do nothing. So what are they to do exactly?’
Ben, 42, adds: ‘Even my own sister, one of the smartest people I know, who has thought long and hard about these issues for years, only felt able to respond with a video clip of some rambling old Israeli man calling for death and destruction in Gaza. In the absence of any viable, sane alternatives, Israel just needs to get on with the job at hand and do the world a favour by clearing out Hamas from Gaza.’
Jemima said earlier this year that Islamophobia was ‘every bit as big an issue as racism’. Referring to her sons with Imran Khan, she said: ‘I’m aware from experience of travelling with my kids, particularly to America where we have to leave extra time in between any flight connections because they have Pakistani names that are not Anglicised — Sulaiman and Kasim Khan — they do get taken off and questioned in a way that I don’t.’
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