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26 Oscar stars turn down free 5-star trip to Israel

February 22, 2017 at 4:09 pm

Actor/producer Matt Damon attends the 89th Annual Academy Awards Nominee Luncheon at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on 6 February 2017. [Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]

Hollywood stars including Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon were amongst Oscar celebrities who were offered luxury trips to Israel in 2016; however none have taken advantage of the offer.

Gifts worth $232,000

  • 15-day private walking tour of Japan: $54,000
  • Plastic surgery: $5,530
  • Breast implants: $1,900
  • 10 personal training sessions: $900
  • Personalised M&Ms: $300
  • An e-cigerette: $250
  • Wallet: $125
  • Lip balm: $6

The offers were for $55,000 personalised trips and came as part of the gift bags handed out to a host of famous faces at the prestigious awards ceremony.

Critics have criticised the trip as a means for Israel to highlight its narrative and ensure abuses to Palestinian rights and Israel’s illegal actions are not on show during the trip.

“This is a success,” Yousef Munayyer of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, which ran the campaign against the visits along with American organisation Jewish Voice for Peace, told AFP.

“I am very glad there’s no evidence that people went. I think it is clear the objective of using the actors to whitewash Israel has failed.”

The news agency said Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence gave the offer to her parents.