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The Sum Total of Israel Is More Than Just Bibi and His Friends

“Not happy with a government? Don’t forsake the country. Continue to engage with it.” So says an article by Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt in the American publication Forward, chiding Hollywood actor and director, born Israeli and Jewish, Natalie Portman.

With respect, nowhere did Natalie Portman indicate that she intends to “forsake,” or even disengage from Israel and its people. It is high time people came to terms with a very simple fact of life and of political, even historical reality — Netanyahu and his government ARE NOT ISRAEL, no matter how hard they try to present themselves as just that. They are a mere segment of what Israel is and is about.

The avalanche of hate that has now engulfed Portman does not surprise me. It is there, on a daily basis from members of government, politicians of their ilk and their blind believers and followers online and on an onging basis. Just read it in the comments section of The Times of Israel for starters. Pause and reflect on what Ronald Lauder — and numerous others — had to put up with just recently. It’s a pungent sample of the genre. It has been so for a long time now. Many would like it to be forgotten, but I still recall Netanyahu’s balcony scene and b enign smile as the mob paraded portraits of Rabin in Nazi uniform below him. We know what the outcome of that was.

I’m just an ordinary person, so my feelings on this matter are neither here, nor there in the greater scheme of things. However, for what it’s worth, I also would not like to be a mere PR stage prop to Netanyahu’s ongoing bid (see Yom Ha’atzmaut) for reflected glory whenever and wherever he can find it.

It was high time someone of prominence stated the obvious: “The King has no clothes!”

For this, I commend and thank Natalie Portman. She has done Israel and us, the Jewish people, a valuable service.

About the Author
Lived and worked over the decades in Sydney, London and Budapest. Happily settled in Vienna, family on four Continents. My heart is in and with Israel - the nation and the original idea, not the current situation. A lifetime (1965-2003) of professional journalism behind me, both in the Jewish (Acting and Assistant Editor) and mainstream media, both printed/online and radio. Covered and reported on stories, wrote editorials, conducted interviews with Prime Ministers and other power brokers. Filed reports, cultural reviews, opinion pieces from every continent, except Africa. First Jewish publication staffer ever to interview the PLO's Ambassador to the United Nations in New York. Reported from Olympic Games in Munich, Montreal, Lake Placid, Torino and Sydney. Active over many years in Jewish communal, Maccabi and Hakoah sporting activities, Maccabiah Games, Jewish Board of Deputies and Zionist Federation of Australia work as well as Center Right/Liberal Conservative politics in Australia. Served on State level committees, as a pre-selector and Branch Treasurer. Campus newspaper editor and activist at the NSW University of Technology.