American film star and television host Morgan Freeman removed the word “Israel” from a photo taken in Jerusalem, after a Facebook post received torrents of criticism from anti-Israeli activists.
Freeman visited Israel in October to film an episode of National Geographic’s “The Story of God,” a series that charts the role of the Deity (and other deities) in world culture. On April 12 he posted a picture from the Holy City with the location “Jerusalem, Israel,” as part of the promotion for the show.
As has become commonplace in such cases, the post quickly turned into a battleground between supporters and detractors of the Jewish state. Pro-Israelis congratulated the actor on his visit to the country, while pro-Palestinian activists criticized the photo, or urged him to recognize Jerusalem as Palestinian.
The controversy was apparently a bit much for Freeman — or for those who run his social media accounts — and the location, and the word “Israel,” were promptly dropped from the caption.
A similar incident occurred recently with martial artist Jean-Claude Van Damme, who in March faced a wave of angry comments when he posted a photo of himself on Facebook with the caption “Shalom from Jerusalem, Israel!”
Van Damme had been visiting an Israeli kabbalah center for “spiritual guidance” in the wake of the terror attacks in his native Belgium.
The star subsequently took out the words “Shalom” and “Israel” from the caption, which then read “Hello from Jerusalem!”