The irrelevance of being MIRIAM

It always surprises me how people applaud crassness when it emanates from someone they’ve seen on TV. For instance, Miriam Margolyes previously described former Prime Minister John Howard, as a ”pillock” – this from a person who went to Cambridge (admittedly through influence) and who on receiving Australian citizen in 2013, said she wanted to help Australia become a nation of thinkers.

“I could teach young people the value of words again”.

It’s doubtful that young people would be enriched by her contribution, given her latest example on Q & A was describing Tony Abbott as a “tit”!

Credit: Twitter

But her use of crude and infantile language – irritating though it is – pales in comparison to her constant demonisation of Israel. Examples include signing a letter to the Guardian asking The Globe Theatre to withdraw its invitation to Habima (The National Theatre of Israel) to perform in London.

Miriam lambasts Israel for imagined atrocities, ignoring countries which commit real atrocities. You’d think, as a lesbian, she would use her celebrity status to raise awareness of the terrible abuse of women and gays throughout the Middle East. Yet she is silent at the plight of real victims, exposing the anti-Israel agenda behind her vacuous pro-Palestinian stance.

She was pilloried in Jacobson’s novel, ‘The Finkler Question’: Finkler declared on a popular BBC programme that, “as a Jew,” he was “ashamed,” that is to say, ashamed of Israel…. As a reward, he was invited to join a group of “well-known theatrical and academic Jews” who offer to rename themselves “in honour of his courage in speaking out-Ashamed Jews.”

Jacobson took another swipe at Miriam; featuring a play called ‘Sons of Abraham’, which got a standing ovation for its equation of “Gaza” with Auschwitz, mirroring Caryl Churchill’s play, ‘Seven Jewish Children-A Play for Gaza’, starring Miriam, who denied that a play featuring the blood libel of Jews deliberately killing Arab babies could possibly be antisemitic!

Miriam’s stance has made her the darling of the chardonnay socialists. Speaking with Matthew Stadlen about the rise of antisemitism:

“My feeling is that the English are naturally antisemitic. Look, nobody likes Jews…We’re not popular. We’re too smart to be liked. But it has been unacceptable to express antisemitism since the Holocaust. It is now no longer unacceptable in this country.”

She believes that the blame for this state of affairs lies firmly with the State of Israel. “People understandably and correctly associate Israel with Jews and Jews are killing people. Innocent people. And the Jewish community thinks it’s OK because they say that the Palestinians want to destroy Israel. And some of them do, that’s quite true, so they feel it’s alright to treat them in the way that they’re being treated. But I don’t think it is. I just can’t bear to see it.”

Her comments come in the wake of antisemitic terror attacks in Paris and Copenhagen and a report that anti-Semitic incidents in the UK are at a record high.

“… I don’t like having to be critical but I am because you have to be very clear about what is right and wrong generally in the world, and it is very clear that Israel is behaving wrongly.”

“I don’t think they mean to kill innocent people but I don’t think they actually care how many Palestinians they kill…It’s being done in my name, so to speak, and I simply can’t accept it. It’s damaging for Israel, damaging for Jews everywhere, fostering antisemitism…”

Being Jewish is part of her identity, Margolyes says… describing herself as “a very determined, elderly actress, competitive, kind, Jewish, often melancholic… also “naughty, cheeky, garrulous and friendly”.

She is nervous about the Importance of Being Miriam, her new one-woman show … She admits to being an egotist. “I love myself. It’s a passion. Totally requited,” she says and laughs.

Born in 1941…she was an only child “I was a show-off. I think I came dancing out of the womb. I had big dark eyes, a WONDERFUL smile always and people just loved me when they saw me.”

Success on her own terms, though, has so far eluded her. “I don’t think I’m as successful as I would like … But this isn’t due to any lack of talent. “I think I’m HUGELY talented… but if people were asked who are the great actresses of the day they wouldn’t say Miriam Margolyes, they would say Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Vanessa Redgrave, Eileen Atkins. And that’s a pity. I haven’t done enough to convince people that I’m that good.”

In A Reply to Miriam Margolyes’ Article on Antisemitism, Howard Klineberg writes:

There is much that sickens me about this article, including your blatant attempt to self-publicise your limited talents with a headline that is bound to be controversial, your lack of understanding of the actual situation on the ground in Israel and the disputed territories…your total lack of knowledge regarding actual antisemitism in the UK and your continued attacks on the Jewish State…

… you ONLY choose to be critical of Israel and the fact that you are a Jew you think will give this criticism some sort of extra leverage.

… Where is your criticism of the leaders of the Palestinians who after siding with Hitler and his Nazi regime…have refused every offer of peace…? Where is your criticism of Iran and Qatar who both fund terrorists whose stated aim is to kill every Jew, not only in Israel but also in the World? Where is your criticism of Hamas who use UN schools, hospitals, public buildings and members of the public as human shields… build terror tunnels and have launched rockets at Israel for the past 8 years?

Clearly Miriam is an attention-seeking opportunist, caring nothing for real victims. Otherwise she’d rail against the treatment of women and gays in ALL Islamic countries. Her anti-Israel stance makes her the poster girl for the far left, like The Guardian’s Nancy Groves:

“As I get older, people do come up to me just to give me a hug,” admits Margolyes “People seem comfortable with me. And maybe that’s got a lot to do with shows like Graham Norton. You just tell it like it is on those programs.”

Credit: Nicola Jennings/Guardian.

Except that most celebrities really don’t. Another problem with telling it like it is comes when people don’t like what they hear. A recent interview Margolyes gave to the mild-mannered Radio Times magazine to promote her TV sitcom, Trollied, sparked outrage over her comments about Israel and Jewish people. “I don’t think people like Jews,” she told the interviewer. “They never have.”

From the Daily Mail to Haaretz, the media jumped on Margolyes, who is still somewhat baffled.

“I’m astonished, absolutely astonished at the result. But I suppose, in fairness, I would have to admit that I’m daring in my comments. I do say things possibly other people don’t say.”

In 2013, Margolyes finally took Australian citizenship…. “In case anyone didn’t know, I’m a dyke and I’m very happy,” she announced on live TV when handed her citizenship certificate by Julia Gillard on Australia Day.

“Yes,” remembers Margolyes, “and, sadly, just after I became an Australian… blow me but it’s all changed round and now we’ve got that awful man in Lycra! It’s greatly saddened me. I don’t like Tony Abbott or anything he stands for.”

So about those Radio Times comments … “I’m not happy about having to say these things,” she interjects. “It’s very painful…What I want to try to do is to get Jewish people to understand what’s really going on…and they don’t want to hear it…. It is our duty as human beings to report the truth as we see it.”

Naturally, she is loved by the Fairfax Press. Jane Cadzow recently interviewed Miriam for Good Weekend:

She is, by her own admission, a “jolly good” actor – but Miriam Margolyes is also “completely truthful”, and her forthrightness on everything from Israel to children and coming out is often controversial.

Margolyes is excellent company… unencumbered by false modesty. “The thing is, I’m really charming. And I am completely truthful also. I absolutely tell the truth.”

She is aware that her candour can be confronting. Her vocabulary, too, can startle people: “They don’t expect an elderly woman with a posh voice to say things like ‘c…’ and ‘f…’ and ‘cocksucker’.” Not that too many in Australia seem to mind…her brand of earthy irreverence goes down well here. “Everywhere I go in Australia, people come up to me in the street and say, ‘I love you!’ 

… now she is preparing to begin a national tour of The Importance of Being Miriam… dedicated to Margolyes’ mother, the woman from whom she inherited her chutzpah. And whose sad end has always racked her with guilt.

Margolyes wanted her mother to know she was gay… when she eventually broke the news Ruth was devastated…A few months later, Ruth had a stroke. “I’ve always felt it’s possible that I caused that by telling her something which she couldn’t handle. It was the single most devastating event of my life.”

Uncompromising honesty remains her policy on most other subjects. She is a vocal supporter of left-wing causes and a blunt critic of Israel‘s treatment of Palestinians. “Their battering of a helpless people is disgraceful. I know that many Jewish people won’t come to see the show because of my position on Israel. But I believe it is an honourable position. I’ve thought about it very carefully.”

On ABC’s Q & A last week, Erin Gordon, a young Jewish woman , asked:

After the horrific Sydney Siege, we were all heartened to see the ‪#illridewithyou campaign receive widespread support. However, I would like to ask the panel who would ride with us; the Australian Jews, if we travelled around particular areas of Sydney appearing Jewish and wearing our religious clothing?
Anti-Semitic attacks in
Australia have risen 35% in the past year; and physical incidents have risen 200%. Why is there this precedent and yet we have received no widespread support from the general public?
Is it not alarming to the public that the hashtag ‪#Hitlerwasright trended worldwide last year?

Callously ignoring Erin’s concerns, Miriam went into her usual anti-Jewish anti-Israel rant, making normal viewers cringe, but thrilling her anti-Semitic acolytes. Here are just some of their comments:

Tell us what you think on the Q&A Facebook page

Ben Apps: Zionism masquerades as Judaism and uses the slur of anti-semitism to protect itself from criticism. Free gaza from the psychopathic Zionist regime so Jews and Palestinians can live in peace like they once did. Netanyahu is a monster who has no empathy for people whether they be Jews or Palestinians alike. I’ll probably be labelled anti Semite for posting this is the irony.

Joeline Cole: I was getting the photos straight out of the Gaza conflict. Children getting slaughtered like pigs and the Zionists holding a party while they watched. Certainly changed my mind that no amount of sob movies about the holocaust will ever erase. Feel sorry for the Jews around the world who are going to wear the retaliation. My Jewish and Muslim friends were talking the other day. No animosity whatsoever. It’s all coming from the top, creating division so they can control the masses.

Scott Rousell: International Zionism which is THE REAL CAUSE OF ANTISEMITISM Yes, this is much more to the point than blaming the Palestinian massacre it’s the predominance of Jewish/Zionist control over our western politics, News media, holywood, Banks and WARS. Jews will be resented for that fact.

Yani Haigh: Why is it that we in Australia are playing sycophant to a fascist Jewish state? Why is it that Labor gave a prime position in the NBN to Goldman Sachs a year or so after they had been involved in a massive rip off of Australian pensioners? Here we are raving on and on about prejudice against the Jewish community and have no discussion at all about the prejudice OF the Jewish community. It’s like we are having a conversation about angels. Give me a break!

What is going on is the Jewish elite are using the rank and file of the Jewry to establish their impunity to critique. You don’t have to be Albert Einstein to work that one out but Albert Einstein did in fact make this very clear in his own refusal to be part of the Zionist project.

Yani Haigh: “Imagine what the situation would be if Hamas stopped firing rockets indiscriminately into Israel and digging tunnels into Israel to enable their fighters to kill Israeli citizens?”

Nothing would change Heather. No one in the West Bank is firing rockets or digging tunnels and the level of oppression is extreme. Israel was directly involved in the formation of Hamas for the purpose of destroying the support of the Palestinian left.

There is one group called Hamas that fire rockets into Israel. There are multiple groups that represent near to the full spectrum of Palestinian politics. As difficult as it is to accept, because Israel listens to no one the only option left is violent resistance.

And the fact is that Hamas don’t have 100% control of every Palestinian mind. It has consistently been Israel that has breached cease fires and that is why rocket attacks have resumed. Israel provokes Palestinians consistently.

The tunnels are part of a survival network. They are used to bring goods into Gaza. They are a very real lifeline.

The truth of this is very simple. The Palestinians want the normality of life back.

 Michael Kaz Yani Haigh: no one. I say no one. Not even the most ardent, far right racist Zionist, professor of whatever, can debate you. Proud to know you champ.

Nice company our Miriam keeps!

For a voice of sanity, let’s end with extracts from Ted Lapkin’s article:


THE moment actress Miriam Margolyes opened her mouth to opine on antisemitism during the ABC’s Q&A, the moral rot at the heart of 21st-century leftist thought came on full display. Responding to an audience question on the issue of Jew-­hatred, the ever-so-progressive Margolyes indulged in a nauseating exhibition of “blame the victim” pathology. The reason “people don’t like Jews”, she didactically intoned, “is because of the actions of the state of Israel”.

Margolyes declared during a BBC interview in 2010 that she “totally understood” Palestinian anti-Jewish hostility because Is­rael “foments it”. Using Margolyes’s line of reasoning, the slaughter of Jews in Paris and Copenhagen should not be blamed on the jihadi fascists who actually pulled the triggers…but instead those dastardly Zionists whose ­actions incite justifiable Islamic resentment.

At the height of World War II, George Orwell assailed British pacifists for being “objectively pro-Fascist”. After all, Orwell reasoned, “if you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help that of the other”.

By this same token Margolyes is guilty of being objectively pro-Hamas. Through her uncritical pro-Palestinian activism she provides political aid and polemical comfort to one of the most noxious theofascist movements in the world today.

It’s not just that Hamas has dispatched suicide bombers to murder Jewish civilians in Israel’s cities. In the world according to Margolyes that’s just an unfortunate but understandable by-product of Zionist oppression.

Margolyes exemplifies the strange-bedfellows alliance between leftists and Islamists that defies logic and morality. In the Orwellian sense she is barracking for those who wish to kill her twice over and enslave her in the bargain. Margolyes is Jewish, a fact that marks her for death in the Hamas covenant that explicitly invokes a genocidal campaign to kill every Jew on earth. She is also openly gay, another capital offence in the Hamas playbook. And she’s a woman, and thus consigned to second-class citizenship under the strictures of sharia law.

Israel is the sole haven of political liberty in a part of the world that is otherwise dominated by despotism, jihadism or an­archy.


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  1. Miriam Margolyes said in an interview last year.

    “I really have fallen in love with myself.
    It’s shameful to admit, but it’s been a bit of a lifelong affair and I do now feel I’m as good as it gets. I’m honourable, kind, friendly, warm, intelligent, generous and I’ve got a good sense of humour.”

    • Hilary Rubinstein

      I believe it was Benjamin Franklin who said “He who loves himself shall have no rivals”!

  2. Ditto Pam….I am to far away to be able to sit, compose and throw my two bobs worth in. Will definitely comment on this Post when back home again.

    • When are you coming home Graham, we miss you around here, though I suspect you are having a ball in Israel. 🙂

    • Hi Graham, I was thinking about you and wondering how your travels were going. As Shirlee said, we miss you and your insightful comments. Hope you enjoyed Ireland, Israel and all the other places you visited.

  3. One of the best dissections of Ms Margolyes that I’ve ever read, Pam. As a Jew, a lesbian, and a mere female she gives a brilliant one-woman show of all that is bizarre and hypocritical about the leftist anti-Israel movement.

    • Hilary, thank you for that. Yes, she certainly encapsulates all that’s hypocritcial and bizarre about the anti-Israel brigade. It took me a long time to realise that many on the left who called themselves human rights activists weren’t in the slightest bit interested in human rights, and many who called themsleves feminists cared nothing for the plight of their sisters. They just gave themselves these labels to assert their moral superiority.

  4. For those who may not not what on earth we are talking about. Here are a couple of links. I think you can access this–miriam-margolyes-6313577.html