Reflections from Dame Margaret Hodge MP In Conversation with Josh Glancy

Thank you to those who joined us for our conversation with Dame Margaret Hodge and Josh Glancy. We were honoured to be joined by them to discuss the unfolding situation in Israel and their recent visits to Israel and the West Bank.If you weren’t able to join us, you can find some of the key takeaways from the events below.


The demonstrations are “beautiful and terrifying”Both Dame Margaret Hodge and Josh Glancy began by commenting on the scale and effectiveness of the recent protests. They commented on the wide-scale support for the protests, from trade unions to business leaders to military pilots, and their optimism about this new movement. Dame Margaret said that we have to keep demonstrating if we want there to be real change.“It reminded me of when I fought the BNP in Barking.”Dame Margaret visited the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, where National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir has set up a tent which proports to be “the office of Itamar Ben-Gvir”. The tent is set up behind homes that are scheduled to be demolished. This direct attempt to claim Sheikh Jarrah as an Israeli-Jewish site is a classic tool of the far-right. Dame Margaret is deeply familiar with this, from the time when Nick Griffin stood against her in Barking in the 2010 general election.“To stay silent is to betray Israel…the critical friend role from the diaspora is crucial”Josh Glancy asked Dame Margaret about the right of the Jewish diaspora to criticise Israel, a challenge often raised both in Israel and elsewhere. She responded by talking about the role of international pressure in all disputes around the world. She also pointed out that the international Jewish community has an understandable desire to see the only Jewish state flourish, and that our voice, through organisations like NIF, is critical.“As long as there’s the Occupation it continues to pump toxicity into Israel”Josh Glancy recently visited Jenin to interview would-be militants. It clarified the centrality of the Occupation in all of the issues Israel faces today. He raised a parallel between the history of the United States, who fought a civil war over slavery 70 years after its establishment. Josh suggested that Israel is in danger of falling apart in a similar manner if it doesn’t resolve the existential crisis of the Occupation. He argues that the rise of Smotrich & Ben-Gvir, who he refers to as “people of the Occupation”, shows that the Occupation can no longer be ignored.“Building that cohesion from the bottom up…gives me that hope.”Dame Margaret said that her hope came from seeing the work of NIF grantees. She named Physicians for Human Rights Israel, who are providing vital medical care to asylum seekers and Palestinians, as just one example. We are building a movement of likeminded organisations to defend democracy, and to build a powerful shield to defend and empower Israeli democracy and civil society—ensuring that both can survive and flourish in the future.Click here to find out more and support NIF today.




Dame Margaret Hodge MP

Margaret became the Labour Member of Parliament for Barking in June 1994. She has served in government, holding portfolios across education, work and pensions, business and culture. She was the first Children’s Minister from 2003 to 2005; Minister for Universities from 2001-2003; and Minister for the Arts and the Creative Industries for the final years of the last Labour Government. In 2010 Margaret became the first elected Chair of the Public Accounts Committee and was also its first female Chair.

Josh Glancy

Josh is special correspondent for The Sunday Times, where he writes about everything from drinking to boxing to politics to crypto. He contributes regular news and magazine interviews and features and also writes the occasional diary column. Previously, Josh spent five years in America, where he was the paper’s Washington correspondent. Before that, he was New York correspondent, from where contributed a regular magazine column on life as a failed bachelor. Josh has been nominated twice for feature writer of the year, at the Press Awards and British Journalism Awards.

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