Feb 24 2017
Top 2016 OSCAR nominees turned down an all-expenses paid luxury trip for two to Israel after being hounded by pro-Hamas groups. Yet they continue to call Donald Trump, a proven supporter of the Jewish state, an “antisemite.”
Israel Today Of the 26 leading candidates to win an Academy Award last year, none chose to exercise the offer by the Ministry of Tourism to enjoy a free upscale vacation in Israel. According to the company that gives the special gift bags to Oscar nominees, the only Hollywood star to make any use of the Israeli gift card was Jennifer Lawrence, who gave it to her parents. Some, like British actor Mark Rylance, star of the movie “Bridge of Spies,” openly rejected the Israeli offer.
Among the groups pressuring celebrities to NOT visit Israel are far left Jewish organizations like the virulently anti-Israel and misnamed “Jewish Voice for Peace,” which warned Hollywood stars that by visiting Israel they would be identifying with the “occupation of Palestine.”
With the 2017 Oscars just around the corner, pro-Hamas/Palestinian Authority groups told AFP that the failure of the Israeli gift card last year was due to their pressure on Hollywood stars to boycott the Jewish state.
The Oscar gift bags contain about $200,000 worth of gifts. Valued at $55,000, the Israeli officer of first class airfare, 5-star accommodations and culinary experiences for two is one of the more expensive offerings.
Pro-Muslim activists have accused Israel of using the expensive gifts to trick Hollywood stars into photo-ops that would benefit the Jewish state. They have urged the celebrities to shun Israel.
Actress Scarlett Johansson has been condemned by many in Hollywood and around the world for being the spokesperson for Israeli Company ‘Soda Stream.’
On the other hand, Hollywood actors like Jon Voight, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kelsey Grammer, Seth Rogen, Sylvester Stallone, Minnie Driver, and Roseanne Barr are strong supporters of the Jewish state and are among those who have signed a pro-Israel/anti-Hamas petition saying “Hamas cannot be allowed to rain rockets on Israeli cities, nor can it be allowed to hold its own people hostage.” It came after other celebrities, including Penelope Cruz, Rihanna and Selena Gomez criticised Israel’s response to the rocket attacks.