She is a good actress. In fact, and I am saying this carefully, not being a connoisseur, she is a wonderful actress. Her acting is one of the things that keep one believing in the greatness of the ex-empire, tattered and denuded of its property as it is today. This was in a nutshell all I thought about Ms Redgrave before reading What is Left by Nick Cohen. The chapter where he tells the sordid story of the Workers’ Revolutionary Party has really shaken me. Even after learning about Mosley, about the peculiarly British form of this quiet xenophobia in general and antisemitism in particular, about BNP etc, one tends to stick to his early beliefs in that untarnished image of dignity, democracy, stiff upper lip and Oliver Twist, in short - the really great Britain. But the Redgrave family and its romance with Healy and WRP was more than I was able to stomach.
Why I am saying all that? I was reading an article about Vanessa Redgrave and the disastrous effect she has on the causes she carries a torch for. One paragraph struck me as outstanding:
The actress has championed the Workers’ Revolutionary Party, the PLO, and suspected Chechen terrorists (she paid £50,000 bail for Akhmed Zakayev, the separatist Chechen leader accused by Russia of being behind the Moscow hostage taking in 2002, in which 128 lost their lives.) Oh, and she used her 1978 Academy Awards acceptance speech to launch an attack on “Zionist hoodlums”.Even in the fairly large crowd of people with causes, Ms Redgrave stands out thanks to her ferocity, extremism and demented behavior. When the author of the above quote says "Look at her record – and shudder", I know exactly what she means.
That shudder, which I totally share, is not the main item of the article that deals with Ms Redgrave's whole-hearted support of the Travellers. The author point of view on Redgrave's involvement in the case of the Travellers is worth noting:
This is why I don't think concerned citizens need lift a finger against the Travellers who, for so many communities, have proved troublesome land-grabbers. Leave them in Ms Redgrave's care, and she'll soon alienate even their most sympathetic supporters. When the actress recently visited the more than 80 Traveller families who've illegally taken over the Dale Farm site in Essex, I bet they brandished garlic and crucifixes to keep their self-appointed champion away.I haste to add that I don't know anything about the Travellers, and that the clearly negative attitude of the article's author to their plight is not shared by me.
But the notion about the negative impact of Ms Redgrave's support of the Travellers hits the bull's eye for sure. And this relates directly to the theatrical role she recently picked up:
Vanessa Redgrave, foe of ‘Zionist hoodlums,’ will play Holocaust survivor onstage
I am more than sure that, thanks to her undeniable genius, Vanessa Redgrave will be a wonderful Maria (a Polish Jew, a Holocaust survivor in the play). I am also sure that during the time between her stellar performances she will find countless opportunities to promote the causes she is supporting - like the cause of Chechen Islamofascists, the dead commie-rapist Healy, the still dead and still sleazy Yasser A. etc.
And the question I would like to ask is: do we (the Jews) really need that sorry bag of tsuris depicting a Jewish Holocaust survivor?