A leading English Jewish actress dropped her support for the Labour Party over its policies on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Maureen Lipman, known for her roles in The Pianist and Educating Rita” and for a series of comedic parts on British TV, castigated the opposition party and its leadership in a piece published Thursday by Standpoint, a British magazine covering politics and culture.
A self-described five-decade Labour voter and socialist, Lipman said she could not continue to support the party after its (Jewish) leader, Ed Miliband, voted to urge the British government to recognize Palestine in a House of Commons vote last month.
“I’m an actress, Ed, and I am often commended for my timing,” wrote the 68-year-old actress, a recipient of the Commander of the British Empire (CBE) honor. “Frankly, my dear, yours sucks.”
She added: “Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse. Just when the anti-Semitism in France, Denmark, Norway, Hungary is mounting savagely, just when our cemeteries and synagogues and shops are once again under threat. Just when the virulence against a country defending itself, against 4,000 rockets and 32 tunnels inside its borders, as it has every right to do under the Geneva Convention, had been swept aside by the real pestilence of IS, in steps Mr Miliband to demand that the government recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel.”
Last month, the House of Commons voted by 274-12 to back a symbolic motion urging the Conservative-led government of David Cameron to recognize Palestine. The motion was introduced by a backbench Labour Party MP, in an ostensible effort to break the “impasse” in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Miliband, the son of Holocaust survivors, was also mocked by Lipman for publicly eating a bacon sandwich two days after he had told her he wanted to “learn more about his religion of his birth” and to attend a Shabbat dinner at her house.
“I can’t, in all seriousness, go into a booth and put my mark” in favor of Labour, Lipman noted. “So, come election day, I shall give my vote to another party. Almost any other party. Until my party is once more led by mensches.”