“The Jews living in Samaria are Israel’s front line,” says comedian/actress Roseanne Barr as she kicks off anti-BDS campaign
Roseanne Barr has concluded her anti-BDS campaign tour of Israel several days ago. The actress and comedian was accompanied by Rabbi Shmuely Boteach as she visited Judea, Samaria, Tele Aviv and Jerusalem. In the Shromron she planted trees and met with settlement leaders as the pair kicked off a campaign to combat anti-Israel boycotts.
The visit to Samaria was organized by Rabbi Boteach’s World Values Network as part of the group’s new campaign against the BDS movement.
Barr, 66, met with Samaria Regional Council chief Yossi Dagan outside of the Israeli town of Peduel in Samaria, where she helped plant trees in honor of the recent Tu B’Shvat holiday.
During her visit, Barr praised the local settlers, calling them Israel’s “front line”. “You are pioneers. The people of Samaria are standing on the front line of the State of Israel.”
Rabbi Boteach echoed Barr’s sentiment, saying “The people who live here are heroes, they are pioneers who live here despite the difficulties, and thanks to them, the settlements have expanded and grown stronger.”
Dagan thanked Barr for her efforts to combat the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS).
“It is so nice to meet someone like you, who is fighting unceasingly for the truth despite the price that you have paid for your bravery.”
When Dagan explained that the BDS campaign, which seeks to isolate Israel diplomatically, economically, and culturally from the world to punish it for Israel’s continued presence in Judea and Samaria, harms businesses which employ both Jews and Palestinian Arabs, Roseanne said efforts to boycott Israel are aimed at curtailing coexistence between Jews and Arabs.
“BDS is against coexistence, it’s their enemy. They prefer war, and to collect money.”
In terms of letting her feelings be known about the BDS movement, the actress pulled no punches last Sunday when she addressed an audience of more than 300 people at an event called “Hollywood and Hasbarah” at the Menachem Begin Center in Jerusalem.
During her address, Barr equated the BDS movement with a Nazi-style boycott of Jews. On other issues, the actress said that in the US today there are Hamas representatives in Congress (noting the over anti-Semitism of newly elected member of the House of Representatives) and also opined that anti-Zionist Jews should be censored. Throughout her trip to Israel, Barr has continually stated that she believes that Jews have the absolute right to pray at the Temple Mount and all holy sites throughout Israel.
Barr also spoke about her love for Torah study and her closeness to G-d through her conversations. She also did not hold back in her criticism of the ABC television network for cancelling her immensely popular “Roseanne” reboot which was soaring in the ratings before the show was pulled.
According to a JPost report, Barr said, “I was silenced because I was defending Israel. It was one tweet, one line out of a three month conversation with people all over the world, specifically people in Iran… the most important freedom we have which is freedom of speech, and freedom to explain your tweet.”
Barr returned when the show was renewed for a tenth season in 2018, only to be fired after she posted a tweet that said. “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj,” She was referring to Valerie Jarrett but has since apologized profusely for her language.
The JPost reported that Barr added with palpable emotion reverberating in her voice, ” I have in my life, stood up for what is right, and what is so painful to me is that I would have my tweet misconstrued…. it hurt me very badly that anyone would think that I would make a racial slur at someone, because that is in no way what I ever intended.”
Born to Jewish parents in Salt Lake City, Utah, Barr’s family was involved in the Mormon church, while still retaining its Jewish identity.
“Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning I was a Jew; Sunday afternoon, Tuesday afternoon, and Wednesday afternoon we were Mormons,” Barr wrote in her 1989 autobiography.
In recent years, Barr, a supporter of Israel, has become a vocal opponent of the BDS movement, and in April 2018, suggested she may immigrate to Israel.
“I want to move to Israel and run for prime minister. I do have that fantasy. If God calls me, I’ll go,” she said at the Jerusalem Post conference.
“I want to make aliyah, I do…I still have this fantasy of being an old Jewish lady living in the Jewish homeland… I want to buy a farm there and maybe bring my family,” added Barr.
In December, Barr announced plans to speak at the Israeli Knesset, as part of the visit to Israel with Rabbi Boteach.
Best known for her eponymous sit-com show “Roseanne”, Barr starred as the show’s titular character for nine seasons, from 1988 to 1997.
Following her dismissal, “Roseanne” was rebooted as “The Conners”, a spinoff show featuring most of the cast of “Roseanne”, with Barr’s character killed off.
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