Actress Maureen Lipman has severed her professional links with The Oldie magazine, claiming she will no longer tolerate its monthly “drip-drip of antisemitic, anti-Jewish, anti-Israel material”.
Ms Lipman is a long-time contributor to the magazine, which was set up 21 years ago by former Private Eye editor Richard Ingrams. She is also a regular judge at its Oldie Of The Year Awards.
But following an article published in its March issue, in which travel writer Dervla Murphy described Hebron as a ghost town left ravaged by the shooting of Palestinians by American-Israeli Baruch Goldstein in 1994, Ms Lipman accused Mr Ingrams of “anti-Zionist bias”.
She said: “There’s an insidious nature to what is being written. Why would I be involved with that?
“All I ask for is a level playing-field. They’re grinding babies into powder in Syria — get that in your middle page. I can’t just stand there at my age and contribute to something which is feeding the myth.”
Mr Ingrams said: “I am very disappointed that Maureen will no longer contribute to the magazine, but I’m not surprised because she has been unhappy for a long time about what has been featured in The Oldie.
“She does have a very straightforward view — that critical comments about Israel should be balanced by critical comments about Arab countries.
“Well, the BBC may feel itself obliged to give what they call a balanced view, but we’re not under any obligation of that kind.”