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Come in, Natalie, the water’s fine

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Natalie Portman has recently made headlines in her decision not to attend the Israeli ceremony to award her the Genesis Prize because “[r]ecent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her and she does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel”, meaning that “she cannot in good conscience move forward with the ceremony.” 

Portman’s refusal has been predictably met with ire from various Israeli right-wing politicians.

Yesterday Portman clarified her position on her Instagram:

“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 [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] 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.”

Although Portman seems to be keeping herself within the anti-BDS ‘liberal-Zionist’ position, I would like to expand on where her position may yet lead – although it is a longshot.


The Genesis Prize Foundation

The Genesis Prize Foundation considers itself to be the “Jewish Nobel”, which “honors individuals who serve as an inspiration to the next generation of Jews through their outstanding professional achievement along with their commitment to Jewish values and the Jewish people.” The foundation said it was “very saddened” that the Jewish-Israeli-American actress would not take part in the ceremony. The Genesis Prize Foundation canceled the prize ceremony, saying in a statement that its organizers “fear that Ms. Portman’s decision will cause our philanthropic initiative to be politicized, something we have worked hard for the past five years to avoid”.

Now, is this really just a “philanthropic initiative” that is not “political”? The JTA tells us that “The Genesis Prize was established by Mikhail Fridman and other wealthy Russian-Jewish businessmen and operates in a partnership with Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office and the Jewish Agency for Israel.”

Well now, if you are really that “fearful” that your initiative will be “politicized”, then you just have to sever that relationship with Israeli-Jewish political agencies. Of course, to even suggest that the foundation is not political is just disingenuous. It promotes the Jewish aspect in the Jewish State and is a major Hasbara branding tool for Israel.


Using artists as a branding

Recently, I was asked to present a new film about violinist Itzhak Perlman, “Itzhak”, at the Jewish Film Festival in Copenhagen. It is brand new, and I could only see the trailer, which seemed to suggest it was politically benign, so I said yes. I told how Perlman had influenced me in my young years of playing violin, and my great esteem of the virtuoso and the person. Then came the film, and late into it, there is a part where he goes to Israel to get the Genesis Prize. In that conjunction, he’s also invited to the Prime Minister Netanyahu residence for a family dinner. There’s a discussion prior to that, back home in the US, where family members ask him whether he’s excited to meet Netanyahu, with a certain tone of concern. He says that it’s exciting to meet “any head of state”, and that “we don’t have to talk politics”. They don’t seem to talk politics on the documentary, but you see, it’s political. He’s not just pals with Netanyahu – he goes there because Netanyahu is the prime minister of the Jewish State.

After I saw the film, I had the bitter feeling that I had just inadvertently participated in an Israeli propaganda stunt that was inserted as if it was benign into this film. I recall having the fear that there might be something like that in the film, and although I asked to see it in advance, I could only get access to the trailer. I realized that you can’t be too careful when Israel is somehow involved.

So Natalie Portman is realizing that she will be used as a branding of Israel. Israeli “recent events” have been “extremely distressing” – surely a reference to Israel’s killing of nearly 40 unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza, which have shocked Jews around the world


Critique of Portman’s decision   

Portman’s decision not to attend the ceremony was met with predictable fury from Israeli politicians. Likud lawmaker Oren Hazan, who recenly called Palestinians visiting relatives in Israeli prison ‘beasts’ and ‘human scum’ and said he’d put Ahed Tamimi ‘in the hospital’ by kicking her face, suggested that Portman be stripped of her Israeli citizenship.  

Culture Minister Miri Regev, who has called African refugees “cancer”, said that she “was very sorry to hear that Portman fell like a ripe fruit into the hands of BDS supporters. A Jewish actress, who was born in Israel, has joined those who see the miraculous success story of Israel’s creation as a ‘story of darkness’.”

The latter was a reference to the Amos Oz novel “A Tale of Love and Darkness”, which Portman has made her directing debut three years ago. Regev had simply omitted the “love”, to paint Portman as an agent of “darkness”. And it is as if Regev is trying to deliver a ‘Star Wars’ like message – that Portman, who played the good Princess Amidala in Star Wars, has simply fallen into the hands of the ‘dark side’.

Yesterday, Minister of Strategic Affairs and Hasbara, Gilad Erdan, sent Portman a two-page letter which he posted on his twitter. In his ending, he invoked the Star Wars analogy:

“Anakin Skywalker, a character you know well from Star Wars, went through a similar process. He began to believe that the Jedi knights were evil, and that the forces of the Dark Side were the defenders of democracy. I call on you not to let the Dark Side win”, he wrote.

Surely, Portman’s decision could not be motivated by her actual repulsion by Israeli racism. No, that’s just not possible.


Portman takes a position against Netanayhu

 “I’m very much against Netanyahu. Against. I am very, very upset and disappointed that he was re-elected. I find his racist comments horrific”, Portman told the Hollywood Reporter in May 2015.  

It is likely that she was referring to Netanyahu’s 2015 election racist baiting statements of “Arabs are heading to the polling stations in droves”. 

“However”, she added “I don’t — what I want to make sure is, I don’t want to use my platform [the wrong way]. I feel like there’s some people who become prominent, and then it’s out in the foreign press. You know, shit on Israel. I do not. I don’t want to do that.”

In a statement following the Genesis Prize announcement in November, Portman said she is proud of her “Israeli roots and Jewish heritage.”

Portman is thus positioned in what you could call a “liberal-Zionist” ideological position, but something seems to have shifted in her recently further, because she was still poised to receive the prize in June, with distinct pride over her “Israeli roots and Jewish heritage”.


Ashamed to be Israeli?

This “pride” seems to be cracking, and we have seen it also inside Israel. Following the recent mass killings of Palestinian protesters in Gaza, prominent Israeli Army Radio host Kobi Meidan said he was “ashamed to be Israeli”. The statement got him into hot water, and he had to publicly apologize in order to keep his job. 

Portman has not taken that step literally. She is very cautious in her formulation. But her dropping of the Genesis Prize seems to be saying something in that direction.


Clash with Israel, or with Zionism?

Is it going to go any further? Has Portman noted the racism and propaganda inherent in liberal Zionism? It’s even in Amos Oz, the liberal Zionist ‘hero’. I reported about Oz’s participation in Israeli propaganda towards its 2014 Gaza onslaught, here:

On July 31st, 2014, at the midst of Israel’s unprecedented assault on Gaza, Oz gave an interview to the Deutsche Welle. He opened the interview with two questions of his own, defying world opinion:

“Question 1: What would you do if your neighbor across the street sits down on the balcony, puts his little boy on his lap and starts shooting machine gun fire into your nursery?

“Question 2: What would you do if your neighbor across the street digs a tunnel from his nursery to your nursery in order to blow up your home or in order to kidnap your family?

With these two questions I pass the interview to you”.

Oz was thus, in his eloquent rhetoric capability, voicing two widespread Israeli fictitious myths, disseminated from the PM office itself: That Hamas uses the population (particularly young children) as human shields, and that it has “terror tunnels” that lead to Israeli nurseries.

The first myth hardly deserves mentioning, in that Israel systematically obliterated whole families with over 30 members in Gaza 2014, because a wanted Hamas member was amongst them. To regard those family members, including babies, as human shields, deserves nothing but contempt. As Amira Hass notes in her introduction to the project Obliterated Families: “Behind every erased Gazan family is an Israeli pilot”.

The second myth, of Hamas “terror tunnels” leading to kindergartens in nearby villages, was a deliberate lie disseminated by the Prime Minister’s office and widely circulated in international media, serving as an important hysteria-creator and means of manufacturing consent for the ground invasion, where the actual casus belli (missing before that) became these tunnels. But this myth was debunked shortly after.

No tunnel led into any Israeli village. The sole purpose for which the tunnels were ever used in the handful of cases – was military engagement, legitimate under international law.

Oz was thus serving as an ignorant and zealous propagandist for Israel’s 51 days of death and destruction, and I have not noticed that he has ever corrected himself, for I have not seen him address this myth in the Israeli mainstream.

Has Portman noticed this? Has Portman noticed the left-leader Isaac Herzog saying how the left shouldn’t be perceived as “Arab Lovers”? Has she noticed how the Israeli left has sold out African refugees as “infiltrators”?

These are not accidental expressions. Liberal Zionism is a contradiction in terms. ‘Liberal Zionist’ leaders like ‘leftist’ Prime Minister Levi Eshkol wanted to send Palestinians “to the moon”. “I want them all to go, even if they go to the moon”, he said.

This is not illogical. It is completely logical. Maintaining a Jewish State at the cost of continued expulsion and subjugation of Palestinians, has been the modus operandi of Israel since the start – and it encompasses all of its Zionist political spectrum.

Natalie Portman appears to be breaking with Israel in some way. But she appears to be on the fence in relation to Zionism. She may still believe that there is a Zionism that is not “racist”, one that may be less “distressing” for her.

Her acts seem to be suggesting that she is not quite as proud of her “Israeli roots”, and possibly even ashamed of Israel, although not saying it. Will she manage to extricate the Jewish from the Israeli? This is a very hard task, a painful one. Yet Portman seems to portray a dynamic and fighting character. She may one day break from Zionism.   

Thanks to Ofer Neiman.

Jonathan Ofir

Israeli musician, conductor and blogger / writer based in Denmark.

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44 Responses

  1. just on April 21, 2018, 1:43 pm

    “Portman’s decision to drop the prize was met with predictable fury from Israeli politicians.”

    Jonathan~ she “didn’t drop the prize”. She only decided not to attend the event.

    “She ended her message by stating that she will donate the prize money, worth $2 million, to Israeli charities that will be named in the future.”

    Not to attend only because of Netanyahu is weak, indeed. There’s so much much more to protest and to say… imho. She’s got a long way to go. Perhaps she’ll donate to Breaking the Silence and others who fight for justice. Maybe she’ll name a street ‘Gideon Levy’s Way’.

    Thanks for this.

    • Jonathan Ofir on April 21, 2018, 4:02 pm

      Thank you just, you’re absolutely correct, my bad. We’re fixing.

      • just on April 22, 2018, 12:31 pm

        Thank you, Jonathan.

        I found Shalev’s recent column interesting. Here’s an excerpt:

        “…Still, one wonders what has changed since December of last year, when Portman gushingly accepted the Genesis Prize in the first place. A cursory glance at Google would have informed her that the same Netanyahu whose “horrific and racist” statements she condemned after the 2015 elections is the traditional default central speaker at the awards ceremony. A closer look would have told her that the original funders of the prize, co-sponsored by both the Israeli government and the Jewish Agency, are three Russian oligarchs with close ties to Vladimir Putin, whose Alfa Bank has been mentioned in connection with the ongoing investigation of Donald Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia.

        In fact, on the very same Friday that Portman issued her clarification, the three billionaires filed their second defamation suit in Washington D.C. against their inclusion in Christopher Steele’s infamous dossier as Trump-Putin go-betweens. In a series of exposes published by Franklin Foer in Slate in late 2016, it was even alleged that internet specialists had uncovered a concealed connection between the computer servers at Trump Tower in Manhattan and those at Alfa Bank headquarters in Moscow. …”

      • just on April 22, 2018, 3:00 pm

        Speaking of “Gideon Levy’s Way”:

        “That’s the Spirit, Ms. Portman, but It’s Just a Start …

        Natalie Portman’s announcement of her decision to boycott the Genesis Prize ceremony was a tremendous shot in the arm. Here it is, coming from the heights of glamor, from a lover of Israel like she is, Jewish, Hebrew-speaking, born in Israel, a citizen of Israel and a source of pride for Israel, who has a lot to lose. Not an anti-Semite or a fundamentalist, not extreme right or radical left, not Roger Waters, not even BDS. From smack in the middle, from the heart of the Jewish center: criticism of Israel, the Biblical “wounds of a friend,” even a kind of boycott.

        While “leftist” Israeli artists are scared of far-right rapper “The Shadow” and especially of their own shadow, an artist of her caliber goes and makes a clear statement about Israel. Together with a conscience, a large helping of courage is required for such a step, especially in the face of Jewish, Zionist, ruthless Hollywood, which will neither forgive Portman nor forget.

        Nor will the Israeli right wing forgive her for this: The minister of war (against the BDS movement), Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, was quick to publish a letter explaining the situation to Portman. What’s happening in Gaza is not because of us, it’s all because of Hamas. The usual propaganda of lies and nonsense, on the very day when Israeli army sharpshooters killed another 15-year-old in cold blood and the photo of Mohammed Ayoub bleeding in the sands of Gaza was made public around the world. It soon turned out that Erdan, like many others, was sure that the slaughter of protesters in Gaza was what lit the fire in Portman’s belly. But that was not the case.

        Portman’s clarification blunted the force of the step she had taken: “I chose not to attend because I did not want to appear as endorsing Benjamin Netanyahu,” she wrote. A great step forward and a small step backward. Netanyahu is indeed a problem, but he is not the problem over which Portman, as a person of good conscience and a Zionist, must make her voice heard. Netanyahu is Israel.

        Portman has come a long way, not only between her first film and her Oscar, but also between the letter she published in the Harvard Crimson 16 years ago defending Israel and denying its apartheid conditions, and the step she took on Friday.

        The change in her, which has apparently taken place in many Jews, is good news, as is her courage. But the road is still long. Portman wrote that she would not come because of “violence, corruption, inequality, and abuse of power.” Not one direct word about the original sin, the occupation.

        Neither is Portman’s protest directed to the right address. It is self-protective to blame Netanyahu for everything. Like most liberal Jews (and Israelis), Portman considers Netanyahu the root of all evil. And what about his predecessors, those who sowed the seeds of destruction and killing in Gaza and in Lebanon, who imposed a cruel closure on Gaza, who strengthened the occupation in the West Bank and tripled the number of settlers – she shakes their hands, just not Netanyahu’s?

        Portman’s media power is enormous. … The Jews breathed a sigh of relief, as did many Israelis. Portman is against BDS and against Netanyahu, but she continues to celebrate “Israeli food, books, art, cinema and dance.”

        With all respect, Ms. Portman, Israeli food, dance and cinema are also tainted by the occupation to a greater or lesser extent. We are all to blame for it. The way to end it, which is the first and essential condition for making Israel a more just country, passes through courageous steps like the one you took, but they must address the core of the inferno and not just its edges; the focus of the cancer and not just its metastases. They must become practical steps, like those the BDS movement calls for. That’s the only way to shake Israel out of its complacency.

        I humbly take my hat off to you for your courage, … . Your direction is the right one; without a tailwind from people like you, nothing here will change. But it’s just a start.”

      • ritzl on April 22, 2018, 10:01 pm

        Hi just. I wonder if anyone has asked the leaders of [all] the Jewish-Israeli parties if and/or what they would do differently in this situation. Slightly less psychopathic, more of the same/silence, or something else. As Mr. Ofir points out, the “Netanyahu did it!!” blather is total evasion.

        I haven’t seen anything remotely resembling an alternative “approach” from Jewish-Israeli “leaders.” Total silence.

    • JWalters on April 22, 2018, 12:18 am

      I hope Natalie will read the interview with Haneen Zoabi, a female Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset. She would probably find it highly informative, as well as shocking.
      “Embattled Palestinian Knesset Member Fights for Her People’s Rights”

      • ritzl on April 22, 2018, 10:05 pm

        They don’t care, JWalters. Those are Palestinians. They don’t matter.

        I hate to say that, but I’ve never seen anything to suggest otherwise. Even disaffected Jewish-Israelis would rather leave than ally with Palestinian citizens of Israel to effect common goals. It’s really sad.

  2. JLewisDickerson on April 21, 2018, 3:09 pm

    RE: ‘Liberal Zionist’ leaders like ‘leftist’ Prime Minister Levi Eshkol wanted to send Palestinians “to the moon”. “I want them all to go, even if they go to the moon”, he said.

    Fly them to the moon.
    Let them play among the stars.
    Let them see what spring is like
    on Jupiter and Mars!

  3. hungrydave on April 21, 2018, 4:44 pm

    My inclination is to be annoyed by this. The fact that she made this move is pretty minimal. To go and pal around with bibi while Palestinians are getting their heads blown off in Gaza would have made her utterly revolting.
    So she’s not utterly revolting but that’s not saying a lot. It also reminds me of those who’d happily love Bibi and Trump if only they could be polite , charming and have decorum while they bombed the innocent. People who get upset about trumps mean tweets but have nothing to say about his policy. People who long for an eloquent Obama to order the drone strikes or Herzog to manage the occupation with handwringing apologetics.
    So that’s where she’s at and it’s a morally low place to be… BUT I have to remember that it’s a journey, she’s a pampered elite, maybe she’ll grow up and grow some morality in the process. I do credit her for having to deal with the relatives, that’s no easy thing. Time will tell if there’s any real substance to Portman.

    • on April 22, 2018, 8:31 pm

      I agree – people dislike the personality or demeanor or approach but not the message or policies that cause the inhumanity. Portman dislikes Bibi but was ok with the other nutters before him? she diikes Bibi but not the apartheid and occupation? She dislikes Bibi but not the systematic torture of innocents over decades? She dislikes Bibi but not the racist supremacist ideology of Zionism?

  4. chris_k on April 21, 2018, 4:46 pm

    I’m don’t watch her films – I saw one I didn’t like – but she has by this reportage been towing the line of Democrats’ and pseudo-left media’s ‘if only we could have Labor or Hatnuah’ narrative, despite their policies being effectively indistinguishable from Netanyahu’s and Sharon’s. She represents a sort of ‘vital center’ of whomever hasn’t taken decisive umbrage from earlier war crimes of Israel’s but bled with the kids being shot in the back.

    Such is the nature of the human heart and mind that this can be real empathy and not merely tactical calculation, but her heart and mind is molded by the wish to appeal to and having cred, socially and as a marketed figure, to US millennials, who are slightly less brainwashed than their older counterparts. And as I said at the end of previous thread, the lobby misses Harvey Weinstein in cases like this, who was very proactive and persistent about blackballing actors. Harvey hired Mossad agents and Ehud Barak to investigate cases being made against him, and was planning a hasbara feature.

    I’m not diminishing the courage it takes for her to do this, facing the Israeli culture that nourished her and sees her as a mainstream media figure. She wants to continue to spend time in Israel it seems, and the political paparazzi will see how that works out.

  5. Citizen on April 21, 2018, 5:45 pm

    My conclusion is she still thinks BDS is an anti-semitic movement, and she dislikes Netanyahu because he’s transparently vulgar–like Trump. Pelosi must love here. Let’s sacrifice an entire innocent, non-Jewish people, just so a few actual jew haters don’t benefit from our protest voice.

  6. lonely rico on April 21, 2018, 6:22 pm

    It is unfortunate that Natalie Portman didn’t have the courage exemplified by Vanessa Redgrave at the Oscars in 1978.

    • chris_k on April 21, 2018, 7:27 pm

      Of course that was rebutted in the Oscars. Tilda Swinton wore a Palestine scarf in Vogue supplied by a non-profit for Palestinian refugee children, which Electric Intifada wrote up:

      “Care is too broad a word,” said the Palestine Fair Trade Alliance’s Chris Turner. “British Vogue readers will not be flooding the phones tomorrow with demands to end apartheid. But watch what happens when steps like these become easier, built on hard ones like this one, and more frequent.”

    • Kathleen on April 21, 2018, 10:11 pm

      Only a few have the courage of Vanessaa Redgrave. Her message was so respectful and thoughtful and she was ripped to shreds my many in Hollywood and beyond.

      A very brave woman focused on the facts. Redgrave led….Portman has finally followed a tiny bit. Although she is taking some heat. Wonder if she will lose jobs the way Redgrave did…doubt it

      • Marnie on April 23, 2018, 12:13 am

        “Wonder if she will lose jobs the way Redgrave did…doubt it”

        I agree. Portman’s concerns are not the same as Ms. Redgrave’s. Portman hasn’t said a word about Palestinians. Only her concern about boobie, and there’s a whole lot of boobies here, a knesset full with the exception of a very small minority. And Portman is part of that group of zionist hoodlim’s herself. The more I read about her the more troubling her remarks are and I realize I jumped way too quick to praise the hefer. Her beef is with netanyahoo, not the zionist movement that created the entire mess. She’s the embodiment of the shoot and cry.

    • Marnie on April 22, 2018, 11:32 am

      Love her grace and humility. The audience gasped at her ‘small bunch of zionist hoodlims’ remark, on point and exact. It never gets old.

    • JLewisDickerson on April 24, 2018, 9:34 am

      The enemies list
      by Philip Weiss on August 11, 2015

      • Jimmy Carter

      • Rashid Khalidi

      • James A. Baker

      • Debbie Almontaser

      • Chas Freeman

      • Joseph Massad

      • George C. Marshall

      • Steven Salaita

      • Max Blumenthal

      • Chris Hedges

      • Zbig Brzezinski

      • Vanessa Redgrave

      • Charles W. Percy

      • Cynthia McKinney

      • Rick Sanchez

      Richard Goldstone

      • Jim Clancy

      • Chuck Hagel

      • Earl Hilliard

      • Paul Findley

      • Norman Finkelstein

      • Edward Said

      • Stephen Walt

      • Rula Jebreal

      • John Mearsheimer

      • Bruce Shipman

      • Dorothy Thompson

      • Helen Thomas

      • Barack Obama


      SOURCE –

  7. CigarGod on April 21, 2018, 7:14 pm

    She’s an Israeli. It is her native soil.
    She’ll never turn against Israel.
    That is her strength and a value us non-Israeli’s will never have.
    She can fight for the correct change in a way we can’t.
    She could be a/the heroic enemy from within.

    • Mooser on April 21, 2018, 7:54 pm

      “She’s an Israeli. It is her native soil. She’ll never turn against Israel.”

      She’s the usual dual-citizen. “Born in Jerusalem” Is that in Israel?

      “She can fight for the correct change in a way we can’t.”

      I’ve heard that’s a real problem there.

      • Maghlawatan on April 21, 2018, 10:01 pm

        Jews from outside who criticise obviously hate themselves. I mean, how else can it be explained?
        Jews from Israel who criticise are traitors, Mooser.
        And obviously nobody else has any business butting into Jewish business . The community can manage it

      • Mooser on April 22, 2018, 1:08 pm

        “The community can manage it”

        Depends on how dependent she is on the community.

  8. on April 21, 2018, 7:20 pm

    Perhaps one day we will hear about the very long gut wrenching journey she took to detox from Zionism. I’ve never been a racist so I don’t know about the process a racist goes through to rid themselves of racism but I have read here and elsewhere that weaning off of Zionism is particularly difficult. Hating Palestinians enough to kill them is too addictive or enjoyable for some Jews, I guess.

    More than 70 years of ethnic cleansing, thousands murdered, homes and whole families destroyed, children tortured and jailed, women raped, seniors bombed, hospitals and schools bombed, water supply stolen, lands stolen AND Natalie Portman is now just starting to feel a little perplexed about it all, a little uncomfortable about being proud of Israel’s murderous apartheid regime and history. Oh My, where can the Zionist actress run to for comfort? where can she seek refuge? I hope she will be ok – such a brave soul she is for deciding not to wear her haute couture gown and show up to an Israeli award ceremony.

    I couldn’t give a flying shit about Portman and her kind. Good decent innocent people were slaughtered – are being slaughtered – so Portman can sip fine wine with her murderous compatriots on stolen land. She is a repulsive racist just like Adam Sandler, Jerry Seinfeld, Gal Gadot, Roseanne Barr and Howard Stern.

    • gamal on April 21, 2018, 7:39 pm

      “I couldn’t give a flying shit about Portman and her kind”

      oh God, I thought I was alone…thank God

      • echinococcus on April 21, 2018, 9:54 pm

        As Dimitrie Cantemir, ex-Voivode of Moldavia and a large-caliber turncoat himself said, “Princes should never be reproached their past, as their conversion to Truth [in this case Orthodox Russia against the Ottoman Empire] is invaluable at any time”.

        Or, if you only want to boycott even a single egg, good!

        The Zios are so shrill and stupid that they might lose even Portman with their reaction.

      • Maghlawatan on April 21, 2018, 10:03 pm

        Maybe it is a class thing.
        Shooting civilians is very shabby.

        Netanyahu says Israel is high class but that is just a lie
        He ain’t never caught the BDS rabbit and he ain’t no friend of this lady.

  9. Kay24 on April 21, 2018, 7:51 pm

    So it looks like Israel’s brutal killer squad has gone into another Muslim nation to kill a Palestinian they call a “Hamas” member. Zionazis act like they above all laws.

    A Palestinian professor and member of the Hamas militant organisation has been killed in a drive-by shooting on the streets of the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.
    The family of Fadi al-Batsh, 35, has accused Israel’s spy agency Mossad of being behind his killing on Saturday.
    Malaysian officials said the suspects are believed to have links to a foreign intelligence agency.
    Israeli officials have not yet commented on the killing.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius on April 22, 2018, 5:10 am

      When Russia allegedly – very very allegedly – poisoned a double agent and his daughter in Salisbury (non lethally despite this supposedly being the most powerful nerve agent known to man), the UN sat in special emergency session.

      Here … the sound of crickets.

      • Kay24 on April 23, 2018, 6:49 am

        I agree. As usual the zionist media in the US, is silent about it, while they covered the Russian issue in London, non stop. These zionists killers have gone in to far too many Muslim nations, using fake passports, and brutally assassinated scientists, and Palestinians officials they call “Hamas members or terrorists” and then justify these murders. It seems no leader, politician, or journalist, dares to speak of this, criticize this, or want the killers brought to justice.

  10. Shingo on April 21, 2018, 8:06 pm

    The significance of this cannot be overstated.

    Portman is royalty if movie circles and the reaction is reflected by the fact that there have been a dozen articles in The Forward on Portman alone.

  11. Kathleen on April 21, 2018, 10:14 pm

    “Although Portman seems to be keeping herself within the anti-BDS ‘liberal-Zionist’ position, I would like to expand on where her position may yet lead – although it is a longshot. ”

    Longshot indeed. However who knew that she would ever come to terms with the facts on the ground and make this stand? Movement

  12. iResistDe4iAm on April 22, 2018, 3:46 am

    Natalie Portman has just achieved two unprecedented milestones:

    1. Natalie Portman is the most famous Zionist to boycott Israel

    2. By boycotting Israel while simultaneously rejecting BDS, she uttered a phrase (“I am not part of the BDS movement and do not endorse it”) that with more publicity, will trigger millions of enquiries/searches for the hitherto esoteric acronym: BDS

    • CigarGod on April 22, 2018, 10:59 am

      Now, if we can just get her to pose with her right hand holding an illegal expanding dum dum bullet…and in her other hand a picture the damage created by the same bullet that blew away the whole knee joint of a Palestinian youth and flew into his other leg, wrecking it…

    • Marnie on April 22, 2018, 11:37 am

      I hope that she doesn’t cave to the pressure and make some fucked up apology. They’ll eat her for breakfast.

      I also hope that some time soon she will ask BDS to forgive her stupidity and support BDS with all her heart, her soul and her might.

    • on April 22, 2018, 3:31 pm

      And what part of the BDS platform is Portman unwilling or unable to support and WHY?

      BDS stands for the following:

      1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall
      2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality
      3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194

      What is it about the foregoing that Portman can’t support or endorse? All of it is anchored in International law. What is so troubling, what does she find repulsive, what of the above runs against her sense of fairness and justice? Perhaps this is too much to ask from such a busy Zionist – better we take what we can get – not condemnation for killing innocent protestors who have been systematically tortured for decades but a cancellation to a political/hasbara event at a time when innocents are being gunned down with impunity. What a brave humane soul she is.

  13. Stephen Shenfield on April 22, 2018, 8:57 am

    Perhaps there is insight to be had from examining the film Tale of Love and Darkness, as Portman both directs the film and plays one of the central characters — the mother of the young Amos Oz. The mother is ‘sensitive’ and cannot cope with the wartime conditions of 1948. When her husband joins a militia she has to force herself to express pride in him, as is expected of her. Clearly what she feels is quite different. She hardly eats and is reduced almost to a catatonic state.

    As for the young Amos, he seems excited to go out — as the Jewish children are told to do by the militia commander — and collect empty bottles from the wasteland to use for Molotov cocktails. When a relative says that he is a sensitive boy like his father, he explodes: ‘I don’t want to be sensitive’ I can’t remember exactly what he says after that, but it is in line with what a good Zionist Jew is expected to want to be. The Zionist social engineering project to create the ‘new Jew’ has succeeded with him and at least partly with his father. With his ‘over-sensitive’ mother it has failed.

    It is plausible though unprovable that the mother represents the real Portman. She has been loyal to Israel and may even remain so, but she has not become a ‘new Jew’. Oldtimers unbellyfeel Ingsoc, as they say in Orwell’s 1984. Managing such Jews is not easy for the Zionist bellyfeelers at Hasbara Central. They must be reconciled to the brutality of real Zionism with a constant stream of excuses, rationalizations and outright lies. What has happened with the shooting of peaceful demonstrators in Gaza is that these excuses, rationalizations and lies have become too farfetched for ‘sensitive’ dupes like Portman to swallow. Reality is starting to penetrate their consciousness and they will be forced to choose between their ‘sensitivity’ and their loyalty to Israel. (I put ‘sensitivity’ in quotes because it can be argued that sensitivity rooted in illusion is not genuine sensitivity.)

    • Stephen Shenfield on April 22, 2018, 10:34 am

      After making this comment I realized that Mondoweiss has published a review of the film by Roland Nikles (7/25/2016). A number of points made in the review further illustrate how the young Amos Oz is molded in accordance with the Zionist ‘New Jew’ social engineering project. The new surname Oz, which Amos adopts at age 14, itself means ‘strength’. I also recovered a more detailed memory of the tree climbing incident, in which Oz goes with his parents to visit a Palestinian dignitary, is sent to play with the host’s son and daughter, is challenged by the girl to climb a tree, climbs up, but then starts shaking a branch, leading to an accident with a swing that injures the boy wandering below (or kills him? — the viewer never finds out). A relevant fact that Nikles overlooks is that Amos’ antics follow his recital of a Zionist poem that celebrates the military prowess of the ‘new Jew’ — a poem that he has evidently been taught at school.

  14. wondering jew on April 22, 2018, 4:04 pm

    What an obnoxious headline. The water (the middle east conflict) has treacherous waters. and mw is filled with sharks.

    • just on April 22, 2018, 5:07 pm

      Join the dust bunnies under your bed, YF.


      “Portman Won’t Get to Distribute Prize Money, Claims Philanthropist Who Supplied Half of the Award

      Asked for comment, the Genesis Prize Foundation said it had no decision to report at the moment about the prize money …”

      Those are your “sharks”.

    • Mooser on April 22, 2018, 5:29 pm

      “and mw is filled with sharks.”

      You’re gonna have to get a bigger boat, “yonah”.

    • echinococcus on April 22, 2018, 6:27 pm

      mw is filled with sharks

      None of them deadlier than you, Reb Fredman.

    • Misterioso on April 23, 2018, 11:36 am

      @Yonah Fredman

      If the six million Jews who perished at the hands of the Nazis could rise from the dead and witness the past and present horrors perpetrated against Palestine’s indigenous Arab inhabitants by Jews of foreign origin, I have no doubt they would be among the first to condemn Zionism and its spawn, racist, fascistic Israel. Zionism is a betrayal of the Holocaust’s victims and for today’s Jews, another “golden calf.”

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