Piers Morgan steps in to referee furious row between Brooke Goldstein and Wajahat Ali on Islamophobia, antisemitism, and free speech

Wednesday 8 November 2023

TalkTV's Piers Morgan has refereed a furious debate on free speech, Islamophobia and antisemitism.

Human rights lawyer Brooke Goldstein clashed with journalist Wajahat Ali during a discussion on whether claims of Islamophobia and antisemitism are being used to stifle criticism of Hamas and Israel.

Ms Goldstein accused Piers of providing a platform for pro-Hamas guests on his programme on X: "Piers, I’ve been on the show, and I know you to be a fair journalist, but I don’t understand why you are giving these Islamo-Nazis such a large platform over and over again to spread their venom.

"Their lies and Propaganda are so carefully crafted that the more you put Hamas apologists on, the more effective they become."She said: "There's pro-Palestinian, there's pro-Israel, but you've been having pro-Hamas people on your platform, and you're giving them an opportunity to spew their virulent antisemitism, and their propaganda justified Hamas terrorism."

Accusing Mr Ali of supporting Hamas, she said: "He sat on the board of the Muslim Student's Association, which was widely known to be a Muslim brotherhood entity, he also has writing that are cross-posted on the English language website of the Muslim brotherhood, he has cross-posted authors who have called for the eradication of the Jewish state. He has criticised cracking down on the Muslim brotherhood. He is connected to the Muslim brotherhood."

Mr Ali responded: "I condemn Hamas, I condemn Hezbollah, I condemn Islamic jihad, I condemn the Muslim brotherhood, I condemn antisemitism, I condemn Islamophobia, I condemn white supremacy.

"I also condemn Israel's occupation, I condemn settler violence against Palestinians that have killed over 100 people in the West Bank, I condemn Netanyahu using dehumanising language that you use, calling every Palestinian 'Amalek'. I condemn the heritage minister saying he wants to drop a nuke on Gaza.

"I have condemned all of that. Do you Brooke? I think as a human rights lawyer or anyone who cares about humanity should condemn everything that I have condemned."

Journalist Glenn Greenwald said Ms Goldstein was an example of "what has gone so wrong with this discourse."

He said: "We can have our differences, it is a very inflammatory issue, but we should not try to suppress healthy debate through state censorship, banning one side from expressing themselves, or accusing everybody of being a 'terrorist' and a 'Nazi' because they criticise the Israeli government, something many Jews like myself and many Israelis do as well."

It comes after Rishi Sunak told MPs: “We will not stand for the hatred and antisemitism we have seen on our streets.

"It sickens me to think that British Jews are looking over their shoulder in this country, that children are going to school covering up their school badges for fear of attack.

“This Government will do whatever it takes to keep the Jewish community safe, just as we will do whatever it takes to keep every community safe.”

Downing Street has denied the Government was “picking a culture war” with its comments on the pro-Palestinian march planned for Armistice Day.

No 10 explained the protest was deemed inappropriate due to the risk of violence and disorder linked to breakaway groups, rather than because of its specific cause.

Rishi Sunak’s official spokesman said: “I disagree with that. I think we’ve seen from the Met’s statement yesterday about their concern about the risk to disorder particularly from breakaway protests and … we share those concerns.”