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US comedian Roseanne, shunned since racist tweet, visits Israel

January 27, 2019 at 1:12 pm

Comedian Roseanne Barr attends the premiere of ABC’s “Roseanne” at Walt Disney Studio Lot on March 23, 2018 in Burbank, California [Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images]

Roseanne Barr, the American comedian whose television show was cancelled last year after she made a racist remark on Twitter, visited Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday as part of a tour of Israel.

Barr arrived in Israel last week with celebrity US rabbi Shmuley Boteach.

“There are no proper words for me to express the connection I feel, first of all to God, to Torah (Bible), to my people,” Barr, who is Jewish, told reporters.

In May, Barr posted a tweet comparing a black former Obama administration official to an ape, prompting Walt Disney Co’s ABC network to cancel her US television comedy “Roseanne”. Barr subsequently said that what she did was “unforgiveable.”

During an interview with Israel’s Hayom newspaper last week, promoting her trip to Israel, Barr called the Oscar-winning actress, Natalie Portman, ‘repulsive’ for declining to accept an award in the Jewish state last April. Last April, Portman refused to collect her Genesis Prize – known as the ‘Jewish Nobel’ – in Jerusalem in April because Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu would be there.

At the time, Portman explained on social media that she “did not want to appear as endorsing Benjamin Netanyahu, who was to be giving a speech at the ceremony”. Portman said she ‘didn’t want to be seen endorsing’ him in the wake of violence at the Gaza border, but her decision caused a stir in Israel and the US.

Read: Roseanne Barr calls Natalie Portman ‘repulsive’ over Israeli prize refusal