Hate mail won’t stop Mayim Bialik: ‘Coming to Israel is a political act’

'Big Bang Theory' star tells 'Post' how she deals with social media backlash upon return to LA after recent trip to Israel.

Mayim Bialik outside house of relative and poet Hayim Bialik  (photo credit: MAYIM BIALIK)
Mayim Bialik outside house of relative and poet Hayim Bialik
(photo credit: MAYIM BIALIK)
Actress Mayim Bialik is known for many things, among them old and current TV shows Blossom and The Big Bang Theory, her PhD in neuroscience, and her love for Israel.
Last week she combined her passion for the holy land and her successful acting gig as the Big Bang’s Amy Farrah Fowler, drawing an international CBS team to Israel for a photo shoot.
“I went with them to Paris two years ago and when they asked me where I wanted to do it this time, I said Israel,” she tells The Jerusalem Post. “I was amazed they took me up on it.”
A large portion of her crew came from France, Italy and England, had never visited Israel before and came exclusively to work.
“I think that’s kind of amazing,” Bialik enthuses. She describes the crew’s response to Israel as “overwhelmingly positive.”
“The country is far more complicated and fantastic than they had imagined and they can go back and report that Israel is a beautiful place that people can tour and take children to and it has great food and nightlife...that’s an amazing outcome,” she states.
Bialik notes that the only thing that slightly marred the trip was a stream of hateful messages on social media regarding the very fact that she was in Israel. She says she has received many messages over the years on her social media accounts with language as strong as “Hitler should come and finish the job.” Bialik tends to block the people behind these messages, saying she doesn’t like her social media account to be a platform for fighting and disinformation.
“Me coming to Israel is a political act simply because there are people who don’t believe in Israel’s right to exist,” she remarks, adding that this reality is “sobering” for her as an American Jew. “The fact that I’m visiting is enough for people to call for the destruction of the Jewish people.” Bialik emphasizes that this type of sentiment is not connected to her politics, but her simple presence in Israel. “I’m very clear on what anti-Semitism looks like.”
Mayim Bialik inside house of relative and famous poet Hayim BialikMayim Bialik inside house of relative and famous poet Hayim Bialik
Bialik is not new to backlash over her status as an Israel supporter in Hollywood, having been subject to calls for boycotts against her and to have her fired. She also faced criticism for donating to the IDF during last summer’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, which she says triggered a similar dialogue.
Bialik, however, puts politics aside on her regular trips to Israel, particularly when visiting family who live in the West Bank.
“I don’t consider it a political statement to visit the West Bank and I avoid talking politics with them,” Bialik clarifies.
The Los Angeles resident, who also has family in Kibbutz Gezer, revels in the safety and comfort she feels when she brings her two sons to Israel.
Referring to the small size of the country and the relaxed and warm culture, she feels she can give her children more independence when visiting Israel.
“I’ve been asked to watch other people’s kids while they run into the supermarket – it’s like one big family,” she says by way of explanation.
The family oriented actress says she shares more than a science degree with her character Amy Farrah Fowler.
“I’m pretty socially awkward,” she laughs, answering in the affirmative when asked if she would be friends with the fictional scientist in real life. “She’s honest, and I gravitate toward interesting people who are intelligent rather than trendy.”
As for Farrah Fowler’s romantic future, Bialik isn’t giving anything away concerning last season’s dramatic ending which saw her breaking up with boyfriend Sheldon Cooper before he revealed an engagement ring to the audience. Claiming she knows nothing of the writers’ future plans, she anticipates “whatever works with the strangeness that is Sheldon and Amy – it’s clear that neither of them will ever have a conventional relationship.”