Erdan urges Natalie Portman to tour Gaza border

Public Security Minister tells Israeli-born actress she is falling for Hamas propaganda after she refuses to attend Genesis Prize ceremony.

Ben Ariel, Canada,

Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) on Friday sent a letter to Israeli-born actress Natalie Portman, after she announced she would not attend the ceremony in which she was to be awarded the Genesis Prize.

Portman cited "recent events" in Israel which she claimed were "extremely distressing" to her, though she did not provide details on what those events were. She added that she "does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel" and "cannot in good conscience move forward with the ceremony."

In his letter, Erdan wrote Portman that she was relying on “false propaganda by Hamas” and invited her for a tour of the Gaza border, where thousands of Palestinian Arabs have been violently rioting in recent weeks and attempting to breach the border fence.

"Hamas uses these 'demonstrations' to carry out terrorist attacks," Erdan wrote, adding, “Hamas cynically exploits women and children as bait and human shields. The goal of this campaign, like other campaigns of the BDS movement, is the destruction of the State of Israel. All those who believe in Israel's right to exist and defend itself in the fight against terror must stand together against this campaign of delegitimization."

Earlier on Friday, MK Oren Hazan (Likud) slammed Portman's decision not to attend the Genesis Prize ceremony in Israel and called for her to be stripped of her Israeli citizenship.

"From the outset, the idea of granting the Genesis Prize to Natalie Portman was complete craziness," Hazan said. "[She is] a Jewish Israeli, who on the one hand cynically uses her birthplace to advance her career and on the other is proud of the fact that she managed to avoid enlisting in the IDF. She's an actress, but she is unworthy of any honor in the State of Israel."

"Sweetness can come from strength: I call on Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) to rescind Portman's Israeli citizenship. She left Israel at age four, and has no real connection to the State," he added.

Meanwhile, Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev (Likud) said, "I was very sorry to hear that Portman fell like a ripe fruit into the hands of BDS supporters."

"A Jewish actress, who was born in Israel, has joined those who see the miraculous success story of Israel's creation as a 'story of darkness.'"

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)