Open letter to Natalie Portman

'State of Israel conceived as haven for Holocaust refugees? Nonsense and historical distortion.'

Mordechai Sones,

Flash 90

Tavor pre-military academy head Amichai Shikli wrote an open letter to actress Natalie Portman following her decision to cancel participation in the Genesis Prize ceremony, and her declarations regarding the State of Israel's establishment as a haven for Holocaust refugees.

Shikli explained in the letter that he sees factual historical distortion in her words, and cooperation with boycott organizations targeting the State of Israel (BDS). "It will take more than one outrageous statement to make me lose the deep affection I have for Natalie Portman; she's beautiful and noble, but in the present case she's mistaken and misleading.

"I'm not bothered by the fact that it gave additional ammunition to BDS, a movement that lost its momentum and vitality and is doomed to failure. I'm definitely concerned about the negative impact on young Jews and Israelis who sometimes take a celebrity's position as authoritative as Torah vouchsafed to Moses at Sinai.

"'Israel was created exactly 70 years ago as a Holocaust refugee haven'," Natalie Portman wrote. Shikli answered: "Unlike in Hollywood, countries don't spring up overnight, and as you may remember, the Zionist movement began to establish a state even before the First World War. So the determination that Israel was established as a home for Holocaust refugees is simply not true.

"The claim that the events of the Holocaust aided the establishment of the State of Israel is a widespread but baseless claim and this claim, aside from being incorrect from the factual/historical point of view, is now the spearhead of the ideological attack against the justness of the existence of the State of Israel as a moral injustice that was legitimized only by the Holocaust. In the new anti-Semitic circles and the BDS movement, the establishment of the State is called the Opposite Holocaust, in which the Jewish Nazi victims became the new Nazis: IDF soldiers.

"The Holocaust not only didn't help establish the State, but it almost eliminated the chances of its establishment.

"Natalie, your statements and decision make you a partner to these extremist organizations. This is connected to what you said in the summer of 2016 that the Holocaust should dealt with less. On the contrary, Natalie, on the contrary. I suggest you learn the history of our people and the story of the Holocaust a bit in-depth, so perhaps you'll understand the magnitude of your error. It's okay to admit a mistake - and in this case it's your moral and Jewish duty," Shikli added.