In fairness, veteran actress – and outspoken Jew – Maureen Lipman has reacted well to claims of anti-Semitism against her latest theatrical performance by a Jewish Chronicle reviewer.
It seems that critic Jonathan Sacerdoti reckons her play Rose, at London’s Ambassadors Theatre, “demonises Israel” and draws false comparisons between that state and Nazis.
Lipman portrays an 80-year-old Holocaust survivor sitting shiva for a child, and it is initially unclear who she is mourning. It later becomes clear that it is “a Palestinian child, shot in Israel by her zealous Israeli grandson”.
Sacerdoti takes offence at this. He writes that it is surprising to see Lipman “supporting a play that invests so much dramatic capital in the outdated notion that Jews kill children”.
His observations that we “hear about her own child, shot dead in the Warsaw ghetto” leads him to conclude that the play “relies on an unforgivable comparison between the IDF and the Nazis”.
He adds that the show is “perpetuating the same stereotypes and political manipulation that have historically led to our persecution – before, during, and since the Holocaust”.
The trouble is, we know that the Israel Defence Forces do indeed routinely shoot Palestinian children:
Israeli soldiers are allowed to shoot children. When a Palestinian child is shot it’s not a story. There’s no difference between the blood of a small Palestinian child and the blood of a Palestinian adult. They’re both cheap.https://t.co/2XVZe9U4dn
— The Enlightened Democrat (@Anticonspiracy2) May 30, 2023
It’s not a false comparison with Nazism; it’s just a fact.
Lipman responded, saying of the reviewer: “He is wrong on so many issues. Let’s take one. The notion of ‘Jews should be better than anyone else’ is denied by two of the protagonists in Rose’s debate. This is a debate not a cancellation like the JC review… See you on the way down.”
But the fact that she, a Jew, has been attacked for anti-Semitism by the Jewish Chronicle is a taste of Lipman’s own medicine, after she spent a period of years attacking the Labour Party and its leaders, Jeremy Corbyn and Ed Miliband before him.
At an anti-Corbyn rally in 2018, Lipman said she knew the party was becoming anti-Semitic when it elected Ed Miliband as leader – and the interviewer had to quietly point out to her that Mr Miliband is of Jewish heritage.
She went on to say, “We have an anti-Semite as the head of the British Labour Party.”
It was a false accusation, as we all now know. Jeremy Corbyn has been a fierce advocate for respect between people of all races and beliefs for more than the 40 years he has been a member of Parliament.
Now she has had the same false accusation levelled against her in another act that suggests the anti-Semitism fakers are starting to turn on each other.
While she put a brave face on it, This Writer wonders how it felt.
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