The actors quitting Equity

Jun 9, 2021 by

by Brice Stratford, The Critic:

Racism is perfectly acceptable so long as it’s the fashionable type.

The last few weeks have seen a truly disturbing surge in open, mob-approved, proud and unashamed antisemitic campaigning on the streets of Britain. Pro-Palestinian marches have become violently anti-Israel and anti-Jewish, not to mention just plain violent, with Israeli flags burned and racist placards waved, lead by men shouting “massacre the Jews” in Arabic. On May 16th a convoy of activists drove through the streets of North London, the Palestinian flag draped over their cars, screaming through a megaphone “Fuck the Jews!” and “Rape their daughters, we have to send a message”. The same day, in Chigwell, Rabbi Rafi Goodwin was brutally attacked outside his synagogue. The two men beat him over the head with a brick.

It was a few days after these hate-crimes that leading figures in the acting industry, which has become such a self-appointed moral arbiter in recent years, decided it had become fashionable enough to join in. Maureen Beattie, President of the ubiquitous actor’s union Equity, along with Paul Fleming, its self-proclaimed “radical” General Secretary, took to social media to use their considerable influence to urge union members to support “Palestinian comrades” and join the ongoing marches at the weekend. This was the weekend march, by the way, that had a prominent banner depicting Jesus carrying his cross, with the text “DO NOT LET THEM DO THE SAME THING TODAY AGAIN”; the march where Salma Yaqoob roared for an “intifada” to be held “here in London, in Birmingham, in Brighton”; the march where an activist pinned Israeli flags to the soles of his shoes and cackled “this is the Nike anti-Jewish edition”; where masked men were filmed swaggering through the streets, barking out “we’ll find some Jews … We want the Zionists! We want their blood!

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