Exclusive: Israeli MP Hazan pushing to revoke Natalie Portman's citizenship
The Natalie Portman-Israel saga continues as Israeli officials call to revoke the Jerusalem-born actresses's citizenship.
Portman's decision not to participate in the award ceremony for the $2 million Genesis Prize, awarded to "inspirational" Jewish figures from the Genesis Philanthropy Group, sparked a storm of criticism in Israel while drawing praise from supporters of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Firebrand Israeli lawmaker Oren Hazan went out against Natalie Portman on i24NEWS Daily Dose show, calling her "definitely" anti-Semitic because "Everyone who boycotts our prime minister boycotts us".
Hazan had scathing words for Portman, calling her a "little hyprocrite liar" for formerly being critical of the state and now qualifying her decision to abstain from the ceremony as directed against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was due to speak there.
"You can criticize the prime minister and still be a proud Jew," Hazan said accusing the Hollywood star of "playing a double game" and suggesting she should come to Israel to voice her disagreement.
Echoing the charges raised by Minister of Infrastructure, Energy and Water, Yuval Steinitz, Hazan argued that she "serves as a tool for those who hate us more."
Yariv Oppenheimer, the General Director of liberal activist NGO Peace Now, went head-to-head with the lawmaker, saying that branding someone as anti-Semitic is an easy way to ignore the content of the criticism, which he suggested was representative of American Jewish communities who consider the Likud's policies as "undemocratic" and "not Jewish".
Oppenheimer drew a distinction between being critical of governmental policy as opposed to the nation.
The Palestinian-led BDS movement’s co-founder Omar Barghouti said in an email to The New York Times that “this latest rebuff to Israeli cultural events and accolades, coming from an Israeli-American superstar, is arguably one of the strongest indicators yet of how toxic the Israel Brand has become, even in some liberal circles in Hollywood.”
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The American Jews have yet to learn the lessons of the holocaust.