Natalie Portman and the Concept of Marit Ayin

Natalie Portman and the Concept of Marit Ayin

Guest Blog by Hillel Fuld

Some background: The Genesis Foundation offers the Genesis Prize. The prize, according to their website goes to a Jewish individual who “inspire others through their dedication to the Jewish community and Jewish values.” This year, for some reason, they chose Natalie Portman. She may be a gifted actress, but how that qualifies her as someone dedicated either to the Jewish 

Natalie Portman

community or to Jewish values is a mystery. Upon hearing that the Prime Minister of Israel would be at the event, Portman canceled her participation. According to the Genesis Foundation, Portman will not appear at the award’s ceremony because “recent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her and she does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel.”

Of course, that didn’t stop her from agreeing to take the prize money. Within hours, around the world, a roar of protest against Portman’s anti-Israel stand arose. Facebook is filled with posts against her. The few supporters who say she deserved the prize are asked to explain why they feel that way, but these question largely go unanswered. Into this discussion, comes Hillel Fuld’s post on Natalie Portman and the Jewish concept of Marit Ayin (roughly translated as how things appear to the eye).

Hillel’s Post

Ya know, in the Torah, or more specifically, Jewish law, there is a concept called “Marit Ayin”. Not sure exactly how to translate it literally but what it means is that we do, or do not do things lest they get misinterpreted.

Meaning, even if you are doing nothing wrong, if there is a chance that someone might see you doing that thing and misunderstand it as something wrong, we avoid doing that thing. Still with me?

An example. It is better, according to jewish law, not to go into a non kosher restaurant, even if you are only going in to buy a Coke or use the bathroom. Someone might see you and think you are eating non kosher. Pretty straight forward, right?

The concept is fairly simple. Don’t give people a reason to misunderstand and judge.

So if nothing else, what Natalie Portman, who I used to seriously respect, did, was give our enemies more ammunition. The same way those people who call themselves Jews and go join Palestinian protests while dressed in Jewish garb, those people? If nothing else, they give our enemies more ammunition.

How many times do you think I was having a debate with a blatant anti-Semite and he throws “Even Jews admit that Zionism is racism”! Neturei Karta! They are very religious Jews and they admit that what the state of Israel is criminal.”

So those people, those Jews who publicly slander the state of Israel, and by extension, the democratically elected prime minister of the state of Israel, are arming our enemies.

Not going to go into the hypocrisy of living in Israel and trashing the country. Or accepting awards from countries that are blatantly human rights violators, but not from Israel. Not even going to address the two faced nature of the liberal left who is happy to kick their own brothers out of their homes, but get all up in arms when we defend our own borders against full blown terrorists. Those topics are for another time.

The bottom line is, Portman can justify her refusal to come to Israel (but keep the money from the award. Ya know, so her hypocrisy is to the max!) by saying she doesn’t want to support Bibi or any other ridiculous reason. At the end of the day, she is giving the declared enemies of the Jewish state more ammunition to target and attack us.

What do you call a friend who arms your enemy while maintaining that they are a friend? There is a word for it, it’s slipping my mind. But far, FAR worse than Portman are the Jews living in Israel that publicly support her and the rest of the “Enlightened” Jew haters who like to say they are not anti Jewish, only Anti Zionist.

And I am not anti breathing, only anti oxygen.

Morons. All of em.

That’s all, now I can start my week.

About Hillel Fuld

Hillel Fuld is an entrepreneur, journalist, blogger, vlogger, and leading startup advisor. Rarely does he delve into politics, preferring to present Israel through the wonder of innovation and technology. Every once in a while…he “slips” and writes great truths. This post appeared on Hillel’s Facebook newsfeed and is reprinted with permission. You can follow Hillel on Twitter (@hilzfuld), Facebook, Instagram, and through his many acritcles on TechCrunch, Inc. The Huffington Post, and on his website: 


  1. Pea, I’m going to assume you don’t live in Israel and therefore ignorance is the reason for so many errors in your post. First, no one says Natalie Portman can’t be critical of the Israeli government. However, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the democratically elected leader of this country. He was to be at the award presentation not as the leader of the Likud party but as a representative of the people of Israel. In the last four weeks, our borders have been stormed by TENS OF THOUSANDS (not 3,000 as you incorrectly mention) of people. They have attempted to set bombs on the fence, fly bombs on kites, set fire to the fence by burning TEN THOUSAND tires. These are not peaceful demonstrations and if ONLY 37 people were killed, that shows tremendous restraint on our part and is proof that we are not killing indiscriminately. Further, an investigation into the identities of those killed while attacking our borders, shows that many of them are KNOWN to our security forces. Did Portman give ammunition to our enemies? She’s a two-bit celebrity, little more.

    As for her being an ardent Zionist? Do you have ANY evidence of that? Because from all that I’ve seen, she is anything BUT a Zionist.

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