Family spat over Gaza prompted me to change my name, says Jemima Khan Goldsmith

Socialite also says she started the podcast A Muslim & A Jew Go There partly as a response to the dispute


LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 13: Jemima Khan attends the "What's Love Got To Do With It?" UK Premiere at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square on February 13, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

Jemima Khan Goldsmith has revealed that she re-appropriated her Jewish-sounding maiden name and started the podcast A Muslim & A Jew Go There partly as a way to resolve a family dispute over the war in Gaza.

Unveiling her new surname, which includes her Muslim marital name, the producer-socialite-journalist said it “reflects my investment in this conversation”.

Presented by David Baddiel and Baroness Warsi and produced by Khan Goldsmith’s production company, Instinct, the podcast aims to “deal with Israel-Gaza and Muslim-Jewish relations”.

“There were two conversations going on that I was listening to, and they were not happening in the same room,” Khan Goldsmith, 50, told The Evening Standard.

“I was sort of slightly going from one to the other playing devil’s advocate. I have Muslim sons and I have brothers who consider themselves kind of tribally Jewish, and very aligned with Israel,” the producer went on.

When her youngest brother, Ben Goldsmith, tweeted that there was “no other option” for Israel than going into Gaza “to root out Hamas”, she responded: “What I know and you know, because you’re highly intelligent, is the solution is not this — targeting innocent Palestinian civilians”.

When her other brother, former Tory minister Lord Zac Goldsmith, tweeted that many of those marching at anti-Israel rallies were “celebrating murderous depravity”, Khan Goldsmith replied with a video of a BBC News presenter reading out a statement in which the corporation said it had “misled” viewers by suggesting demonstrators were voicing support for Hamas.

Khan Goldsmith said the podcast was “my answer to it”, referring to the spat with her brothers.

“I felt that it was a way that my brother might engage with the arguments from another point of view because he [Ben] respects David Baddiel. He knows that David will make it okay for him to listen to another point of view, and the same goes for Muslim friends on the other side”.

Khan Goldsmith does the planning, recording and editing for the podcast, which she said has “taken over her life”.

“It’s about two demonised groups dealing with discrimination and bigotry who have turned on each other [...] the common enemy is racists and bigots,” she said.

Khan Goldsmith and her brothers did not grow up in a Jewish family but learnt Jewish traditions from their paternal grandfather, Frank Goldsmith. Their businessman father, an atheist with a Catholic mother, “faced antisemitism from the British establishment” throughout his life because of his Jewish name.

According to The Evening Standard, Khan Goldsmith grew up being seen as Jewish. She converted to Islam a few months before her marriage Imran Khan aged 21, when she moved to Pakistan and became familiar with the Quran and Islamic traditions.

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