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Israel had its worst week in a long time in the US discourse. The two-state consensus is now in a complete shambles, with many Americans on both right and left beginning to advocate for one democratic state in Israel and Palestine, which of course would mean the end of what Benjamin Netanyahu calls “the one and only Jewish state.”
It appears the Genesis Prize released a statement on behalf of Natalie Portman to make her look like a BDS supporter, and avert embarrassment for Benjamin Netanyahu.
BDS support among Jews is a problem that goes back to Jews being against other Jews in the Torah, says Roseanne Barr. She would reach out to those Israel-criticizing Jews with Torah. “They are not really all that educated,” Barr told the Jerusalem Post conference. “I would tell them….Do you know you’re looking at the greatest recorded rebellion of a slave class of people that’s ever been written?”
Israel is alienating liberal Zionist support by killing unarmed protesters, by its more overt annexation of the West Bank, by its domestic racism, and its gleeful embrace of Donald Trump. Marilyn Garson says that Netanyahu is ripping open a space of liberal doubt and a campaign for Palestinian rights can fill that vacancy.
Natalie Portman’s decision to boycott an awards ceremony in Israel is putting pressure on other liberal Zionists to take real action to try and end the occupation, and scaring other liberal Zionists who fear that she is fostering the BDS campaign.
Natalie Portman’s recent decision not to attend the Israeli Genesis Prize ceremony has pushed liberal Zionist organizations to endorse boycotts aimed at the Israeli government. Jonathan Ofir says her action shattered a huge taboo, even if she didn’t intend it.
Like the recent Barnard BDS vote, Natalie Portman’s refusal to attend the Genesis Prize award presentation shows how deep the cracks in Zionism are running for a growing number of Jews who today find it “increasingly tricky” to reconcile one’s familiar love for Israel and one’s decency, and eventually opt towards dissociating themselves from Zionism.
In refusing to attend a prize ceremony in Israel, Natalie Portman says the problem with Israel is Netanyahu. But the problem is Zionism, Robert Cohen writes to Portman. “If you continue to see Zionism as essentially liberal and progressive you will never understand why it creates in your own words: ‘violence, corruption, inequality, and abuse of power’. The current Israeli government is not an aberration. When Netanyahu falls, Zionism with all of its violence, corruption and inequality will stay put.”