Daily Israel Report

Do Hollywood's Jews Fear a Blacklist?

Why are Hollywood's Jewish stars silent on the issue of Israel's right to defend itself from terrorist convoys violating its territorial waters?
By Hana Levi Julian
First Publish: 6/13/2010, 4:20 PM / Last Update: 6/13/2010, 5:38 PM

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Why do Hollywood's Jewish stars appear to be hugging their “right to remain silent” on the issue of Israel's right to defend itself from terrorist convoys in its territorial waters?

A demonstration brought out 3,000 Jews in Los Angeles a week ago, showing their solidarity with the Jewish State in the face of worldwide condemnation of clashes on the Turkish flotilla ship, the Mavi Marmara.

But columnist Michelle Oddis. writing for Human Events, noted that of 25 scheduled speakers, actor Jon Voight was the only Hollywood celebrity, other than California Governor and former mega-star Arnold Schwarzenegger, to appear at the event to stand up for Israel's right to self-defense. Where was everyone else?

“Why are stars who often proclaim their love of Israel failing to educate the public on the nation's right to exist?” Oddis asks. “Could speaking in support of Israel be seen as a lack of support for the Obama Administration? Do they fear a blacklist?”

Natalie Portman, who was born in Israel, is one of those Hollywood Jewish activists whose silence has been deafening. In a March 2008 interview with TIME, Portman asserted that celebrities should certainly use their stardom to help influence voters – but nary a word has been heard from the young starlet on the matter of whether Israel should have the right to defend itself against Turkish marauders trying to violate the nation's territorial waters.

Other politically active Jewish actors, directors, producers and Hollywood entertainers such as Jerry Seinfeld, Steven Spielberg and Barbara Streisand, to name a few, have been equally quiet, points out author and screenwriter Andrew Klavan.

“I'm hearing from Jewish friends in show business 'Gee, I went to my theater group' or 'a movie set and I heard this horrible anti-Israel stuff, what's going on?' and they don't quite get yet that the political left has left Israel behind,” Klavan said.

“Can they make a difference? Of course,” Oddis says pointedly. “Look at the wonders they did for the Obama campaign.”