Actress Maureen Lipman May Leave Britain over Rising Anti-Semitism

PA Wire/Ian West.
PA Wire/Ian West.

The actress Maureen Lipman has admitted that she may leave the UK thanks to a rise in anti-Semitic attacks. She described the recent rise in anti-Semitism in the UK as “very depressing”. Figures show that the number of anti-Semitic attacks on record for 2014 is likely to be the highest in over three decades.

Speaking to LBC radio, Mrs Lipman said: “When the economy dries up, then they turn on the usual scapegoat. The usual suspect. The Jew.

“There is one school of thought that says it’s because of Israeli policies in the West Bank. It isn’t. There’s been anti-Semitism for the past 4,000 years.

“When the going gets tough, the Jews get packing…it’s crossed my mind that it’s time to have a look around for another place to live. I’ve thought about going to New York, I’ve thought about going to Israel.”

She said that the Jews “give, give and give”, describing the recent rise in anti-Semitism as “very depressing”, the Telegraph has reported.

Mrs Lipman, 71, has been a staple of British television since the early 1970s including in episodes of Dr Who, although she is probably best known as the grandmother in the British Telecom commercials (she once said “I’m a realist. I know that my obituary will read ‘Lipman Gets Cut Off!’”); she has also appeared in numerous stage productions, including Oklahoma! with Hugh Jackman. She was born in Hull, Yorkshire, where her father had a tailor shop.

Earlier this month, a report was released by the Campaign Against Antisemitism which found that 58 percent of British Jews believe that the Jewish community has no long term future in Europe, whilst one in four have, like Mrs Lipman, considered leaving the country.

The report also cited polling by YouGov which found that 45 percent of Brits agreed with at least one of seven anti-Semitic statements put to them.

According to the Mayor of London’s office, July 2014 saw the highest ever recorded levels of hate crime in the Metropolitan Police area, 95 percent of which were anti-Semitic attacks. The full figures for 2014 across the country won’t be made public until February, but are expected to top 1,000 incidents.

Last year Mrs Lipman announced that she was bringing to an end five decades of personal support for the Labour Party, thanks to Labour leader Ed Miliband’s stance on Israel. She said that his support for a motion recognising the state of Palestine “sucks” at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise across Europe.

Mrs Lipman said she would vote for “almost any other party” until Labour is “once more led by mensches” – the Yiddish word for a person of integrity.