Harry Potter actress: Israel's 'stupid' actions causing anti-Semitism

Jewish Actress Miriam Margolyes says that Israel's actions in Gaza have caused a "troubling backlash" for Jews in Britain, but shows no love for Hamas.

October 28, 2014 16:57
1 minute read.
Miriam Margolyes

Miriam Margolyes. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Actress Miriam Margolyes, 73, who played Prof. Sprout in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, blamed Israel over the rise in anti-Semitism following Operation Protective Edge, The Guardian reported Tuesday, citing an interview she did with Radio Magazine. 

"I loathe Hamas," said the actress, "but they were democratically elected and Israel's behavior is not acceptable. There's been a troubling backlash."

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“I’m lucky they like me, and one always needs a Jewish accountant," said Margolyes, who grew up in a Jewish home in Oxford, England, adding that "anti-Semitism is horrible and can’t be defended, but Israel is stupid for allowing people to vent it.”

Margolyes, who is a great admirer of the works of Charles Dickens, also claimed that people don't like Jews. "They never have. English literature, my great love, is full of greasy and treacherous Jews," she said.

Since Israel's 50-day conflict with Hamas this past summer, Britain has seen a dramatic increase in anti-Semitic incidents.

In July, the Community Security Trust (CST), the organization responsible for the Jewish Community’s safety in Britain, recorded more than 302 anit-Semitic incidents, while the figure for August was more than 150. The statistics are incomplete as the CST anticipates receiving more detailed information about incidents from regional police authorities and other sources.

The July figure of 302 is just slightly lower than the number of incidents registered in the previous six months, which stood at 304.

In September, the Liverpool Football Club came under fire after it deleted a “Happy New Year” tweet to its Jewish supporters because of the nature of and intensity of anti-Semitic responses.

The message had read: “Liverpool FC would like to wish all our Jewish supporters around the world a happy new year. #RoshHashanah.”

“Kick It Out,” British soccer’s equality and inclusion organization, contacted Liverpool Football Club to draw its attention to the abuse. Some time later, the club removed the tweet.

Jerry Lewis contributed to this report.

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