Natalie Portman is speaking out about Israel’s nation-state law, passed earlier this year to criticism within the country and abroad. In an interview with the London-based Arabic daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi, the Oscar-winner says the law is "racist."
The law states that "Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people," despite Israel’s Arab citizenship, which numbers some 1.8 million, or 20% of the nation’s 9 million total population. The law also defines Hebrew as Israel’s official language.
Portman opines: "It is a mistake and I don't agree with it ... people's lives are being affected on a personal level by decisions made by politicians. I only hope that we will be able to truly love our neighbors and that we can work together."
It’s not the first time the Israeli-born Portman has spoken out against her native country. Less than a year ago, she pulled out of a prize ceremony in Tel Aviv, weeks after Israeli troops shot and killed Palestinian protestors at the Gaza border.