Actress Natalie Portman raised eyebrows this week when she narrated a video for NowThis, presenting “the story” of Georgia Senator Kelly Loeffler. Given its source, the video — which lasts for almost ten minutes — is unsurprisingly critical of Loeffler, focusing on the Senator “posing with a KKK leader, making shady stock deals, and,” perhaps most disgustingly of all, “refusing to recognize Biden’s win.”
Kelly Loeffler has been in the news for posing with a KKK leader, making shady stock deals, and refusing to recognize Biden’s win. Ahead of Loeffler’s runoff, Natalie Portman explains how the former Wall St. exec became Georgia senator without actually being elected pic.twitter.com/we1Cgft7mi
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) December 15, 2020
In the upcoming Georgia runoff elections on January 5th, Loeffler’s opponent is Raphael Warnock. With Portman’s narration standing as a pseudo-endorsement of Warnock, many have criticized Natalie Portman for her support of an anti-Semite.
Shame on Natalie Portman for supporting an antisemite like Reverend Warnock. https://t.co/ho77czw5Tn
— Ami Horowitz (@AmiHorowitz) December 15, 2020
When NowThis announced that Natalie Portman would “tell the story” of Loeffler — with fellow actor Ed Helms doing the same in a video on Sen. David Perdue — a familiar question appeared in the Twittersphere: is it anti-Semitic to support an anti-Semite?
The answer? Yes, but also, no.
By the Left’s own logic of “silence is violence,” there is a transitive property applied to bigots. If you support someone they view as an enemy — or even simply fail to condemn their “evil” in a manner deemed appropriate by the Left — then you too are an enemy. With this calculus, if Donald Trump is a white supremacist and you voted for Trump, you are therefore also a white supremacist.
If we assume this flawed concept to be true, by the Left’s own standards, Natalie Portman is an anti-Semite. After all, Warnock is — by definition — an anti-Semite. He has praised Jeremiah Wright, an outspoken anti-Semite; he pushed an anti-Semitic blood libel comparing Israelis to “birds of prey”; and he compared Israel to apartheid South Africa and Communist East Germany. By the Left’s own reasoning, if Warnock is an anti-Semite, and Portman supports him, she is an anti-Semite.
Let’s acknowledge that the Left’s “the friend of my enemy is my enemy” logic is utter nonsense. Firstly, Portman is Jewish, and was born in Israel. While it is possible for Jews — whether ethnic or cultural — to be anti-Semitic, it’s intellectually lazy to presume that any criticism of, say, Israeli policy by an Israeli Jew is rooted in anti-Semitism. Secondly, to judge the character of one person solely by the most flawed aspects of someone they associate with is a rejection of both individualism and moral perspective.
Instead, we should ask questions. Sure, Portman — as a Democrat — is unlikely to support a Republican in a Senate race that has national implications. Assuming our binary system of politics, some may then assume that she must therefore support any opponent of any Republican. However, there is a third option, which is to support neither candidate and lobby for a Democratic nominee with more palatable — in other words, less anti-Semitic — views.
Given that Portman is openly Jewish — and her faith and heritage is important to her — we should then ask why her distaste for Republicans outweighs her distaste for anti-Semites. By openly supporting Warnock with — we must assume — full knowledge of his history, Portman has made her priorities clear. Politics first, Jews second. On the surface, this may not be overtly anti-Semitic, but it’s certainly “anti-Semitism adjacent.”
To escape understandable accusations of anti-Semitism in this instance, Portman needs to explain why defeating the GOP is more important than defeating anti-Semitism. She better have a good answer.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.