Photo Credit: Raph_PH
Maureen Lipman

Asked in a Telegraph interview what she thought about the more than 2,000 artists, actors, and musicians in the UK, including Tilda Swinton, Steve Coogan, Charles Dance, and Maxine Peake, who on October 18, 2023, issued an open letter condemning Israel’s entry into the Gaza Strip without mentioning the Hamas atrocities, Dame Maureen Lipman said their “Left-leaning polemic is very, very close to fascism.”

Dame Maureen added angrily: “For me, there is not a day that goes by that I don’t imagine myself as a mother saying to my kids going off to a pop concert, ‘drink plenty of water and make sure you don’t get raped multiple times and I won’t see you again for the next six months.’”


“It strikes me all the time, every day that the hostages have vanished from the public’s interest. But those who perpetrated the crimes seem to be in favor with the people who like to walk up and down Oxford Street demanding that rivers and seas be cleansed,” the 77-years-old London-born Jewish actress said.

Lipman has been working in the theatre for more than fifty years, playing, among other roles, Florence Foster Jenkins in “Glorious!” at the Duchess Theatre in London’s West End. She started appearing on Television in 1975, in roles such as the snooty landlady Lillian Spencer in Coronation Street for six episodes in 2002; and on Doctor Who. In 2002, she played the title character’s mother in Roman Polanski’s film The Pianist.

Commenting on the popular antisemitic chant “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free,” calling for the annihilation of Israel, Dame Maureen said, “Within 24 hours of this massacre, the world had decided it was their fault, they kind of deserved to be abducted and chained to a radiator under the ground for six months. And it is very hard to keep the momentum going because the world has moved on.

“I feel it viscerally – as a daughter, as a mother, as a friend, as a sister. I am doing the little bit that I can to say, put yourself in the position of the friends, the lovers, the person whose father is denied medicine and chained up. Put yourself in their place, and then maybe just be a little more humane.”

She said she wished that Israel was “granted a level playing field.”


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