Mayim Bialik speaking at the Global Forum for Combatting Antisemitism.
(photo credit: TAMARA ZIEVE)
TV star Mayim Bialik said she is “happy to take a public bullet for this state,” while talking about her experiences of antisemitism at the Global Conference on Antisemitism in Jerusalem.
Bialik was delivering the keynote address on Tuesday night entitled “Web hatred and the public person” at the events’ gala dinner, providing a window of experience into the life of a Jew in the public eye.
Famous for her role in The Big Bang Theory and a former child star in the role Blossom, the actress is a proudly Zionist and Jewish activist for which she regularly faces backlash online. She has 633,000 followers on Twitter, two million on Facebook and 2.6 million on Instagram.
“The decision that I make on a daily basis about what to talk about, what to share, what to feel about Israel – these with come with a heavy price,” she told the audience. “The price for me has not yet – that I know of – impacted my acting career, but it has impacted the way that I’m seen and that does impact my career in terms of speaking engagements and endorsements, in terms of my writing, because I am outspoken and I chose to be outspoken about Israel.”
But, she said, “I will not and would not distance myself from my statements on the State of Israel and my belief that the State of Israel has the right to exist in safety.”
A key problem she highlighted was a basic lack of knowledge around the world of what Zionism is, which she said she witnesses at UCLA where she earned her BSc and PhD degrees in neuroscience.
Bialik said she was devastated by the willingness with which other minority communities side against Israel.
She went on to note that the Internet is a tremendous tool for connecting people, for education, and “a powerful vehicle for advancing human dignity and human potential.”
“I’m very grateful for the opportunity to be alive and to be able to speak freely about my love for this country, which my grandparents prayed for as they fled Eastern Europe, and to hopefully educate people through my public platform about the truth about Zionism and Jews and the State of Israel,” she said, as the crowd broke out into enthusiastic applause.
The Internet, she continued, also hold a capacity for hatred, division and the spread of darkness. “Is there a way to harness this incredible technology to make this a more peaceful and compassionate world? I hope that will be the case,” Bialik said.
“I am devoted to my people, to this country, to my faith and I hope to take advantage of my position to combat even in small ways, the ignorance and hatred that continues to bring antisemitism, even only one follower at a time,” she said.
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