First Published at Jewish Business News
British film, theatre and television actress, columnist and comedienne Maureen Lipman on Thursday announced she isn’t voting Labor come next election, the Telegraph reported.
“Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse” she wrote in Standpoint magazine, “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 recognize the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel.”
In case you haven’t been paying attention, Ed Miliband, the son of Polish Holocaust survivors who settled in Great Britain, is the Leader of the Labor Party and Leader of the Opposition in parliament. And yet, under the leadership of the most clearly Jewish politician in the UK, the Labor party’s support within the Jewish community is now on the brink of collapse, as the Telegraph describes it.
One major Jewish Labor supporter told the Telegraph: “It’s serious, there are now genuine questions being asked about whether we will be able to vote Labor next May.”
It’s funny, though, that much of the dispute between the tribe and their lefty heir apparent stems not from any concrete British issues, like the price of a cup of tea, or how often the Queen’s guards are changed, but rather from Miliband’s stand on Israel and on antisemitism.
UK Jews believe Labor’s Middle East policy is being decided by the party’s extreme left, which is pro-Palestinian to a fault.
UK Jews were also angry at Miliband’s virile condemnation of Israel during the Gaza war, while having little to say about the Hamas.
But more than anything, UK Jews are mad as hell at Labor’s failure to condemn the growth of antisemitism, across Europe and in Britain.
“People have been waiting for the leadership to speak up and all they’ve got is silence,” Jewish Labor supporter told the Telegraph.
In July, the Jewish Chronicle wrote an editorial noting that “in recent months, Ed Miliband has made a concerted effort to embrace the Jewish community. He has visited Israel. He has spoken of rediscovering his Jewish roots. And he ended his speech to the Labor Friends of Israel with the declaration that he would enter Downing Street proud to be a ‘friend of Israel, a Jew and … part of the community.’ But, with Israel now in need of support from its friends, he has shown that words are cheap.”
The Chronicle compared Miliband’s hostility to Israel over Gaza with Prime Minister David Cameron, whom they said had been “clear, principled and firm in his support for Israel’s right to defend itself.”
Ouch. I mean, Oy.
Maureen Lipman concluded her piece: “Come election day, I shall give my vote to another party. Almost any other party. Until my party is once more led by mensches.”
OK, it should be spelled “mentches,” but you get the point.