Actress Maureen Lipman has told a radio show that she has considered leaving the UK due to a spike in anti-Semitism.
In an interview following Holocaust Memorial Day Lipman, who is known for her depiction of the Jewish mother in British Telecom adverts, told LBC listeners that “when the going gets tough, the Jews get packing”.
She added: “It’s crossed my mind that it’s time to have a look around for another place to live. I’ve thought about going to New York, I’ve thought about going to Israel.”
Last year, as Israel launched an offensive against militants in Gaza, anti-Semitic attacks rose by 36 percent, but Lipman refuted the argument that Israel’s actions had impacted on the spike.
“There is one school of thought that says it’s because of Israeli policies in the West Bank – it isn’t,” she said. “There’s been anti-Semitism for the past 4,000 years.”
Lipman, a long-term Labour supporter, recently withdrew support for the party after leader Ed Miliband criticised Israel’s ground offensive and after the three-line whip in support of Palestinian statehood.