Skip To Content
Breaking News

British Lawmaker Sayeeda Warsi Says Jews Shunned Her Over Gaza

A former British government minister — the first Muslim woman to serve in the Cabinet – said Jewish friends rejected her after her resignation over her government’s position on Israel’s Gaza operation.

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, former senior minister of state at Britain’s Foreign Office and minister for faith and communities, resigned Aug. 5 after the British prime minister failed to unequivocally condemn Israel’s Gaza ground operation and the Palestinian death toll.

Warsi on Monday responded to claims made at the annual Limmud Conference by Laura Marks, senior vice president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, that her resignation caused Jews and Muslims to question how they relate to each other and heightened distrust between the two communities.

“People whom I considered friends from the British Jewish community stopped all communication with me after my resignation,” Warsi said Monday in a tweet.

She also tweeted that she was ” shocked at the vitriolic abuse I got for resigning from people self identifying as British Jews.”

Marks responded that she “tried to reach out to her after she resigned, but I found it very hard. I tried her office, her phone, she never replied. Despite trying to reach out, I couldn’t get through,” she told the Jewish Chronicle. “I understand she’s saying the Jewish community has cut her off — but personally, and from the Board, that’s not the intention at all.”

Warsi, the daughter of Pakistani immigrants, responded in a tweet: “Pleased to learn today that Laura Marks tried to reach out to me post my resignation. Tea in the new year?”

She also added: “I hope that in 2015 my friends in the British Jewish community can judge me on my 20 years of fighting anti-Semitism and interfaith work and not just on my principled resignation. We all have a duty to defend human rights, the rule of law and international justice.”

Warsi visited Christian and Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem and the West Bank last week. During the visit she called on Britain to unilaterally recognize an independent state of Palestine and called on government ministers to unambiguously condemn Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank and to stop what she called the government’s policy of “Israeli appeasement.”

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.