Dame Maureen Lipman quits the actors’ union Equity after 54 years over its ‘obsession’ with Israel after it called on members to join pro-Palestinian marches that became marred by anti-Semitism claims
- Dame Maureen Lipman, 75, quit actors’ union Equity over its stance on Israel
- West End star condemned union’s president, Maureen Beattie, for sharing post
- Ms Beattie shared an online petition calling for sanctions against Israel
Dame Maureen Lipman has quit actors’ union Equity after 54 years over its stance on Israel.
The actress, 75, called on other Jewish performers to ‘get the hell out’ of the union after it urged members to join pro-Palestine marches which have been marred by allegations of anti-Semitism.
Dame Maureen said the issue of Israel had become an ‘obsession’ for Equity, which she claimed is now ‘stacked full of Corbynistas’.
The West End star condemned the union’s president, Maureen Beattie, for sharing an online petition calling for sanctions against Israel in a personal capacity.
She told The Daily Telegraph: ‘I’m going to resign and I’m also going to ask for my £1000 a year membership fees to be given back to me, and I’m going to send it a charity for the victims on both sides.
Dame Maureen Lipman has quit actors’ union Equity after 54 years over its stance on Israel
‘I didn’t join a political union. I joined a union to protect its members. You don’t dictate to artists what they believe in, and don’t incite them to join a mob.
‘How dare they demand sanctions? Where is Maureen Beattie on the Uyghurs, Rohingyas, the Sudanese, the Yemenites?’ Comedian Dom Joly and former Eastenders actress Tracy-Ann Oberman have also criticised Equity for its stance on the conflict.
A statement issued by the union on Thursday encouraged members to join ‘the Covid-safe protest organised by Trade Unions for Palestine’ last weekend.
The West End star condemned the union’s president, Maureen Beattie (pictured), for sharing an online petition calling for sanctions against Israel in a personal capacity
It said: ‘Equity has a long, and proud history of standing up for peace and justice around the world – including in Palestine.
‘Violence directed against ordinary working people in both Israel and Palestine is appalling, and it is to be condemned by our movement.
‘The disproportionate actions of the current Israeli government over the past few weeks, both in the policing of Jerusalem and toward Gaza, are particularly horrifying.
‘We stand in solidarity with Palestinians taking industrial action, and workers around the world taking action in support of them.’