Coronation Street fave Maureen Lipman branded Artists for Palestine UK “heartless liberals” after the group – including actors Steve Coogan and Tilda Swinton – accused Israel of war crimes.
Maureen, who signed the October Declaration in support of Israel instead, has declared that Israeli blockades at the Gaza Strip are no justification for Hamas brutality.
In a passionate appeal published in The Telegraph, the 77-year-old exclaimed: “These bleeding heartless liberals care so deeply for the Palestinians (who, since 1937, have turned down no fewer than five offers of a two-state solution) that they espouse their cause at the expense of every other oppressed people of the world.
“When babies were garrotted, women dragged by their hair and a family had eyeballs gouged out and fingers chopped off in front of their children – do they really think that Israeli blockades on the border with Gaza are a justification for such acts of violence?”
The ITV actress quizzed whether those who signed Artists for Palestine’s open letter, which made no specific mention of the Hamas attacks, had no souls, and exclaimed: “Shame. Shame. Shame on every one of you!”
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Addressing them directly, she exclaimed: “I would love the signaturists to answer me this question: If your beloved country had been under attack for 70 years, with concrete tunnels under Birmingham and York and Ipswich, and rockets landing daily on Oxford University and Penny Lane and the Tiny Tim toddlers club… how angry and exhausted and how determined to defend your country against any future attacks would you be?”
She added: “You cannot see an inch past your own prejudice that the only good Jew is a homeless, victimised, impoverished one.”
Maureen wrote that the Palestinians had elected Hamas, before suggesting that the leaders had been “stealing millions donated in aid money” instead of distributing it for their people.
She has joined public figures including Vanessa Feltz and Countdown star Rachel Riley in signing the October Declaration, which urged the BBC to describe Hamas as “terrorists” instead of “militants”.
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The letter says that the change in wording would avoid suggesting that the group has “moral equivalence” with Israel.
It reads: “We are a group of concerned British citizens and residents from a wide range of backgrounds and professions who stand in solidarity with British Jews and condemn all forms of anti-Semitism, whether in Britain or elsewhere.
“Following the terrorist attack on Israel, anti-Semitism is surging in the UK [and] children have not been spared. Four Jewish schools in Britain felt compelled to close. One school was vandalised.
“It is abominable that British children should now live in fear just because they are Jews [and] British Jews should not live in fear because of actions taken by the state of Israel to defend itself. The British state must do everything in its power to protect them.
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“While we respect the right of all groups to engage in peaceful protest, we urge the police to enforce the law without fear or favour.”
The letter made it clear that the group, including 200 public figures, “unequivocally condemned” the attacks by Hamas on October 7, which resulted in the “murder, torture, rape and kidnapping” of over 1500 people.
It added poignantly that more Jews were killed on that day than any other day since the Holocaust.
“We ask the media, members of all political parties and everyone in public life to call out Hamas for what it is: a terrorist organisation,” the letter stated.
Maureen has previously spoken out against antisemitism, as well as raising questions over whether Helen Mirren, a non-Jew, should have been cast as the former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir in the film Golda.
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