Natalie Portman calls Nation-State Law ‘racist’

"It's wrong and I disagree with that," Portman said. "I hope to be part of changing that and making us truly love our neighbors, and work with our neighbors."

December 13, 2018 09:57
1 minute read.
Natalie Portman calls Nation-State Law ‘racist’

Cast member Natalie Portman poses at a premiere for the movie "Vox Lux" in Los Angeles, California, December 5, 2018. (photo credit: MARIO ANZUONI/REUTERS)


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Israeli-American actress Natalie Portman told the BBC Arabic channel that Israel’s Nation-State Law is racist.

In an interview with the network that was released earlier this week and then printed in al-Quds al-Arabi on Thursday, gaining widespread coverage, Portman – who was born in Jerusalem and grew up in the United States – said she did not support the law. 

“It's racist and - there is nothing else to say about that," Portman tells the interviewer in response to his question about the law. "It's wrong. And I disagree with that... I hope to be part of changing that and making us truly love our neighbors, and work with our neighbors, and work for our neighbors." 

The actress was referring to the controversial law passed in July that declares Israel to be a Jewish state and the nation-state of the Jewish people.

In the interview to promote her latest film, Vox Lux, Portman said the election of US President Donald Trump “upset me and angered me a lot. But I am working on using that energy to prepare to demonstrate when I see injustice and to make my community a better place in my own way.” 

Portman, who has said she is proud of her Israeli heritage, has often been critical of the Israeli government.

In April she ignited a firestorm of controversy after she pulled out of a prize ceremony in Jerusalem for the Genesis Prize Foundation. Portman originally accepted the honor but later said she wouldn’t attend the event because she “did not want to appear as endorsing [Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu.”

She said, “Like many Israelis and Jews around the world, I can be critical of the leadership in Israel without wanting to boycott the entire nation... Because I care about Israel, I must stand up against violence, corruption, inequality and abuse of power.”

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