The Irony With Natalie Portman’s Explanation About Her Disgraceful Decision

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Yesterday, I posted about Natalie Portman’s statement, in which she explained her decision to not attend the Genesis Prize ceremony in Israel. I chose to emphasize the fact that she was dissociating herself from the BDS movement, who were all too keen to claim her as one of their own.

I had not seen her entire statement, which I later discovered was posted on Instagram. Here it is:

My decision not to attend the Genesis Prize ceremony has been mischaracterized by others. Let me speak for myself. I chose not to attend because I did not want to appear as endorsing Benjamin Netanyahu, who was to be giving a speech at the ceremony. By the same token, I am not part of the BDS movement and do not endorse it. Like many Israelis and Jews around the world, I can be critical of the leadership in Israel without wanting to boycott the entire nation. I treasure my Israeli friends and family, Israeli food, books, art, cinema, and dance. Israel was created exactly 70 years ago as a haven for refugees from the Holocaust. But the mistreatment of those suffering from today’s atrocities is simply not in line with my Jewish values. Because I care about Israel, I must stand up against violence, corruption, inequality, and abuse of power. Please do not take any words that do not come directly from me as my own. This experience has inspired me to support a number of charities in Israel. I will be announcing them soon, and I hope others will join me in supporting the great work they are doing.

A post shared by Natalie Portman (@natalieportman) on

My decision not to attend the Genesis Prize ceremony has been mischaracterized by others. Let me speak for myself. I chose not to attend because I did not want to appear as endorsing Benjamin Netanyahu, who was to be giving a speech at the ceremony. By the same token, I am not part of the BDS movement and do not endorse it. Like many Israelis and Jews around the world, I can be critical of the leadership in Israel without wanting to boycott the entire nation. I treasure my Israeli friends and family, Israeli food, books, art, cinema, and dance. Israel was created exactly 70 years ago as a haven for refugees from the Holocaust. But the mistreatment of those suffering from today’s atrocities is simply not in line with my Jewish values. Because I care about Israel, I must stand up against violence, corruption, inequality, and abuse of power.
Please do not take any words that do not come directly from me as my own.
This experience has inspired me to support a number of charities in Israel. I will be announcing them soon, and I hope others will join me in supporting the great work they are doing.

In the meantime, others have dismantled it appropriately. Here is a very good response that pretty much sums up how I feel as well:

This is what #NataliePortman posted on her Instagram as her explanation for why she is not an enemy of Israel – after she very publicly declined to come to Israel after last November accepting the award. She made the below statement ostensibly to clear up people’s concerns about the impact of her appearing to boycott Israel based on her original claim that “recent events in Israel have been extremely distressing” to her. So much for her clearing things up. Instead, she doubled down on her anti-Israel rhetoric and on her defamatory BDS, JVP, SJP etc. like attacks on Israel.

Natalie Portman’s statement is nothing short of a blood libel that also attacks the very foundational stone of Zionism.

First, Portman publicly accuses Israel of committing “atrocities.” A blood libel. Plain and simple. Israel is not committing “atrocities.” What is happening on Israel’s border with Gaza is tragic, but it is all the fault of the terrorist group controlling Gaza, Hamas. And when a famous Jewish person with a voice like Natalie Portman irresponsibly wields such an allegation, she encourages and emboldens those who want to harm Israelis, especially Israeli soldiers. After all, if the Jewish Natalie Portman is saying that Israelis are committing “atrocities” would it not be a moral act to try and stop them (as the Islamist terrorist supporters often say “by any means necessary”)?

So Portman’s statement endangers Israeli lives, especially the lives of Israeli soldiers. It is abhorrent.

And while not as dangerous and libelous, her comment about the Holocaust being the reason for why “Israel was created” is also ahistorical and very harmful, particularly coming from a person as famous as she is and as associated with Israel as she (unfortunately is).

Her statement – shockingly and ignorantly – mirrors the mendacious Arab League, Hamas and PLO claim that Israel was created as a haven for the Jews solely because of the sins of Europeans and not because Israel is the Jewish people’s indigenous homeland.

Portman’s awful public statement ignores that the land of Israel has been our indigenous homeland for 3000 years and that we Jews did the work to turn it into a functioning and blossoming State with our hard work and Zionist ideals long before WW2 and the Holocaust.

So Portman’s statement that she offered to ostensibly quiet those who were rightfully so concerned about her boycotting an award in Israel not only wrongfully slams the current state of Israel as a purveyor of “atrocities” it also mendaciously undermines the very basis for Zionism and Israel’s existence.

Nice job Natalie. Way to treat your “Israeli friends.” As the saying goes, with friends like Natalie Portman, who needs enemies.

And here’s the irony: Back in 2015, Portman questioned how much the Holocaust is placed at the forefront of education.

Natalie Portman is calling on the Jewish community to question how much emphasis they place on the Holocaust in comparison to other atrocities.

The actress recently directed and starred in A Tale of Love and Darkness, an adaptation of the Israeli writer and journalist Amos Oz’s memoir about the creation of Isreal.

Portman was born in Jerusalem and lived there until she was three, when her family emigrated to the US. In America, she was educated at Jewish schools and learned about the Holocaust and the events leading up to the birth of Israel.

The 34-year-old told The Independent this experience led her to question how much the Holocaust, during which 11 million people were killed, is placed at the forefront of education and whether it is right to prioritise it above other tragedies.

“I think a really big question the Jewish community needs to ask itself, is how much at the forefront we put Holocaust education,” she said. “Which is, of course, an important question to remember and to respect, but not over other things.”

Here we have Natalie Portman believing Jews learn too much about the Holocaust. Yet in her recent statement, she reveals an utter ignorance about it (and, of course, Israel) when claiming Israel was created “as a haven for refugees from the Holocaust.”

The question is: is this reflective of a general problem with Jewish education in the US, when it comes to teaching about the Holocaust and the history of the state of Israel? Or is this more a matter of Portman being too busy concentrating on movie scripts at the time?

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