Event details

Followed by a panel discussion with Rt Hon. Joan Ryan MP, Marie van der Zyl, Ben Gidley and Thomas Godwin. Chaired by Judy Ironside MBE.

Attending this event

Marie van der Zyl

Marie van der Zyl was elected President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews in May 2018.  In the past three years she has played a crucial part in the fight against antisemitism in the Labour party.  Her quote, labelling the Chakrabarti Report as a “whitewash”, was carried widely across national media.  Marie was at the forefront of the campaign against the so-called ‘cab-rank’ policy, by which the Inner North London Corner delayed the release of bodies to Jewish families.  The High Court Coroner recently ruled that this policy was discriminatory.  Her negotiations with King’s College London resulted in its adoption of the internationally recognised IHRA definition of antisemitism and she has energetically pursued interfaith relations with Britain’s faith communities.

Marie, who represents JLGB, is married with two girls.  In her professional life she is a solicitor specialising in employment / equalities law and a partner at Gordon Dadds LLP.

Ben Gidley

Ben Gidley is a Senior Lecturer in Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck and an associate of the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism. He researches racism, antisemitism, diversity and urban politics in Europe. He is the co-author of Turbulent Times: The British Jewish Community Today (2010, with Keith Kahn-Harris) and co-editor of Antisemitism and Islamophobia in Europe: A Shared Story?(2017, with James Renton).

Thomas Godwin

Thomas Godwin is head of marketing and communications for a large charity in Devon. He previously held a variety of roles in the arts and music industry in London before moving back to the South West

Over the past two years he has been the victim of a number of anti-Semitic hate crimes as well as harassment and stalking which led to him having to move towns in Devon. In April 2019 he spoke out through social media and the press about the abuse his family had suffered and the inaction of public bodies and law enforcement. The abuse and harassment continues.

Rt. Hon Joan Ryan MP

Rt. Hon Joan Ryan served as the Member of Parliament for Enfield North from 1997 to 2010 and from 2015 to 2019. She is not seeking re-election in the forthcoming General Election. Joan left the Labour Party in February 2019 and was a founding member of the Independent Group for Change.

During her time in Parliament, Joan was a member of the Speaker appointed Panel of Chairs in Parliament, chairing Public Bill Committees and Westminster Hall debates. She was a member of the last Labour Government, serving as an Assistant and Senior Government Whip (HM Treasury and Lord Commissioner) from 2002 to 2006. In May 2006, she was appointed a Minister in the Home Office. And from June 2007 to September 2008, Ms Ryan was the Prime Minister’s Special Representative to Cyprus.

Joan was Chair of Labour Friends of Israel from 2015 to 2019 and now serves as their Honorary President. Labour Friends of Israel is committed to a two-state solution with Israel living in peace with her neighbours and the establishment of a viable and democratic Palestinian state.

Films screening at this event

Why Do They Hate Us?

original title
Pourquoi nous détestent-ils?
Alexandre Amiel
81 min

Prompted by a series of deadly attacks in Paris in 2015 and his son’s query about why Jews were one of the targets, Alexandre Amiel, a French-Moroccan Jewish filmmaker, set out to make a trilogy of films whose aim is to trace the origins of modern xenophobia in France towards Jewish, Arab and Black communities. We are proud to screen the film dedicated to antisemitism – a fascinating if disturbing journey into the dark depth of prejudice as it is experienced by members of the largest Jewish community in Europe.

“An unflinching exploration of racism.” – The Times of Israel


Lukas Nathrath
25 min

15-year-old Oskar loves his new multicultural and interfaith school, but things turn nasty when he mentions his Jewish identity during class. This engaging and brave short tackles new forms of antisemitism head-on.