Natalie Portman never served in the Israeli army.
Despite being born in Jerusalem, holding dual Israeli-American citizenship, being able to speak Hebrew, her real name being the rather Israeli “Neta-Lee Hershlag,” and even being university educated in the country of her birth, Natalie Portman did not have serve in the Israeli army.
In spite of their mother being an Israeli, Natalie Portman’s two children, who both have Hebrew names, and whom the actress has stated is a personal priority for her to raise Jewish, will not have to serve in the Israeli army.
But somebody else’s children will.
Somebody else’s children will have to don olive green uniforms and deflect Molotov cocktails, burning tyres, and rocks at the Gaza border whilst Hamas protesters rage each Friday.
Somebody else’s children will have to patrol the Old City of Jerusalem — the place of Natalie Portman’s birth — where terrorists arm themselves with knives to stab civilians and especially those wearing olive green uniforms.
Somebody else’s children will leave their base or their home and not know if it will be their final time they do so.
On Thursday, Natalie Portman told the committee responsible for awarding Israel’s annual Genesis Prize that she would not be attending the ceremony held in her honour as the recipient of 2018.
The recognition placed the Oscar-winning actress amongst the ranks of artist Anish Kapoor, violinist Itzhak Perlman, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and actor-director Michael Douglas who have all won the $1 million prize which “honours individuals who serve as an inspiration to the next generation of Jews.”
Natalie Portman once said that her heart is in Jerusalem and that that is where she feels at home.
Now, representatives for the Harvard graduate have said that “recent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her and she does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel” and hence “she cannot in good conscience move forward with the ceremony.”
Natalie Portman never had to serve in the Israeli army.
But perhaps she should have.