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Monday, August 24, 2015

Just because she can act doesn't mean she's not a fool

On Sunday, I tweeted this:
I'm not the only one who slammed Natalie Portman's comments that the Holocaust was 'no different than any other genocide' (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
“While I agree with Natalie Portman that hatred exists in every part of the world, our area included, her understanding of the Holocaust seems limited,” Colette Avital, the chairwoman of the Center of Organizations of Holocaust Survivors in Israel, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

“Natalie should understand that the Holocaust which befell us cannot be compared to other tragedies – our empathy notwithstanding. It was not merely hatred, it was a policy whose aim was to systematically wipe out a whole people from the face of the world,” she explained. “I agree that the education we give our children should not encourage a continuous sense of being the eternal victims. The lessons to be drawn from the Holocaust are that life should be sanctified, and that we should be more humane. What should be taught is also the incredible resilience of our people who have risen from the ashes, rebuilt their lives and built a country of their own.”

Dr. Efraim Zuroff, a professional Nazi hunter who heads the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Jerusalem office, agreed, telling the Post that “with all due respect for Ms. Portman’s great acting and directing talents, her success in the movie world does not turn her into an expert in history or on genocide. If she wants to express her sympathy with all victims of such tragedies, this is definitely not a smart way to do so.”

Polish Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich voiced similar concerns.

“As human beings and especially as Jews, we need to be sensitive to all tragedies, to all genocides. As human beings and especially as Jews, we must ensure that all remember the uniqueness of the Holocaust, in it’s scope and in it’s scale,” he said to the Post.
“I both agree and disagree with Natalie Portman,” said Menachem Rosensaft, general counsel of the World Jewish Congress, who teaches about genocide law at Columbia and Cornell universities. “Of course all genocides, as well as all similar atrocities, are tragic and must be acknowledged and commemorated as such. And no one should engage in comparative suffering.

I tell my students that from the point of view of the victims or their families, it really makes no difference if they were murdered in a gas chamber or with machetes. And, as World Jewish Congress president Ronald S. Lauder has emphasized, Jews must not be silent when Yazidis and Christians are persecuted and murdered by ISIS [Islamic State].”

“At the same time, the Holocaust is unique – not worse and certainly not more tragic – because of its enormous, continent-wide scope, because of the complexity and systematic methodology of the annihilation and the willing participation of such an enormously broad-based part of not just German but other societies,” he said to the Post on Sunday. “In this respect, the Holocaust must be acknowledged as the epitomic manifestation of genocide, as the ultimate consequence of bigotry and hatred as official public policy combined with international indifference and inaction. This, too, must be taught and emphasized.”
I used to think she was smart.  Maybe the fact that her new movie is based on Leftist Amos Oz's autobiography has messed up her head?

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