Maureen Lipman’s strong criticism of Ed Miliband’s stance on Palestinian statehood has been backed by a Labour peer.
The actress said after five decades of support for Labour she would vote for “almost any other party” at the general election, partly in opposition to its policy on the Middle East.
Lord Mitchell, a former Labour frontbench spokesman in the House of Lords, said: “I certainly support a Palestinian state, but not quite yet. It must be negotiated with both the Palestinians and Israel.
“And pain me though it does to say this, I agree with Maureen Lipman when she says Labour and Ed Miliband have got it wrong.”
His comments came as he launched a strong defence of Israel in a Lords debate on the Middle East.
The Labour leader this month backed a symbolic Commons vote in favour of recognising the state of Palestine alongside Israel.
Ms Lipman told Standpoint magazine: “The world is exploding around us. Isis is beheading our civilians while raping and pillaging across Syria and Iraq. Presidents (Vladimir) Putin and (Bashar) Assad are playing such heavy-handed games that we don’t know which rebel group to support.
“Hong Kong may be about to see a replay of Tiananmen. Islamist terrorism in every spot on the globe and if one Jew had been responsible for any of those bombings, there would, I am afraid to say, have been another Kristallnacht.
”At this point in our history you choose to back these footling backbenchers in this ludicrous piece of propaganda?”
She added: “May I remind you that no one is tunnelling into Dover or sending rockets into Coventry, yet we seem to have every right to bomb the living daylights out of Iraq.
“Again. Conclusion: one law for the Israelis, another law for the rest of the world. Plus ca change.”
Despite his strong defence of Israel, Lord Mitchell criticised some of its present policies.
He told peers: “Come what may, I and most Jews remain proud supporters of Israel. But in saying all this, I am not ‘Israel right or wrong’.”
He added: “The occupation of the West Bank is a stain, the building of settlements in my view is wrong, the road blocks, the pass controls, the goading are all intolerable.
“And if history is taught us anything, you humiliate a people at your peril. Many Israelis yearn for a two-state solution but in truth some do not, including I am sad to say many members of its current Government.”