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Polemicist
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She's hot and smart too. :thumb:

Lovely Natalie Portman is gearing up for the May 12 premiere of "Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones," in which she plays Senator Padme Amidala, but this week the 20-year-old Harvard junior is focusing on earthbound conflicts.

On Wednesday, the Jerusalem-born actress objected tartly in the Harvard Crimson to law student Faisal Chaudhry's April 11 essay on U.S. policy concerning Israel and the Palestinians. Chaudhry framed the Arab-Israeli violence as "Israel's racist colonial occupation" in which "white Israeli soldiers destroy refugee camps of the brown people they have dispossessed for decades."

Natalie Portman in the upcoming "Star Wars: Episode II--Attack of the Clones." (Industrial Light & Magic - Lucasfilm, LTD. via AP)

Portman, who immigrated to the United States with her family in 1988 and lived briefly in Washington, wrote to the student newspaper that Chaudhry's racial rhetoric "is a distortion of the fact that most Israelis and Palestinians are indistinguishable physically. The Israeli government itself is comprised of a great number of Sephardic Jews, many of whom originate from Arab countries. The chief of staff of the army, the minister of defense, the minister of finance . . . and the president of Israel are all 'brown.' One might have an idea of the physical likeness between Arabs and Israelis by examining this week's Newsweek cover on which an 18-year-old female Palestinian suicide bomber and her 17-year-old female Israeli victim could pass for twins."

Portman continued: "Outrageous and untrue finger-pointing is a childish tactic that disregards the responsibility of all parties involved."

Yesterday the 25-year-old Chaudhry speculated that the Crimson published the letter only because Portman is a movie star. (She signed it with her family name, which is well known on campus, and we agreed to her request not to publish it here.) But the Crimson's editorial page editor, David DeBartolo, told us: "We thought that it was a very good letter on its own. It presented an important point of view. Basically, we ran the letter on the merit of its contents."
 
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