JERUSALEM (Jerusalem Post) — Holocaust survivor advocates harshly criticized Natalie Portman on Sunday, after the Israeli-born actress/director stated that the Shoah is no more tragic than other genocides and questioned its prominence in Jewish education.
In an interview with The Independent published on Friday, the American movie star questioned prominence given to Holocaust education at the expense of other mass murders.
“I think a really big question the Jewish community needs to ask itself, is how much at the forefront we put Holocaust education. Which is, of course, an important question to remember and to respect, but not over other things,” she was quoted as saying.
She recalled learning about the Rwandan Genocide during a visit to a museum and being shocked that while the Holocaust figured prominently into her education, a contemporary genocide did not.
According to the United Nations, 800,000 people, “perhaps as many as three-quarters of the Tutsi [tribal] population” were killed during the course of the early ’90s genocide.
“I was shocked that that [genocide] was going on while I was in school. We were learning only about the Holocaust and it was never mentioned and it was happening while I was in school. That is exactly the type of problem with the way it’s taught. I think it needs to be taught, and I can’t speak for everyone because this was my personal education,” she told The Independent.