Dame Helen Mirren as prime minister Golda Meir. (Jasper Wolf) (Jasper Wolf)
Helen Mirren

Mirren calls Israel’s first female prime minister “a formidable, intransigent and powerful leader.”

By Pesach Benson, United With Israel

Anti-Israel internet trolls are piling on actress Helen Mirren, who is portraying Israel’s first female prime minister, Golda Meir, in an upcoming movie. The first photos of Mirren in the role were released on Wednesday.

One ‘Palestinian and proud’ individual tweeted, “How sick making a biopic on criminal Golda Meir and yes no surprise Helen Mirren the racist is happy to portray the pure distorted version of a disgusting individual.”

Another commented “More fascism to show how ‘wonderful’ Israel is.”

Another wrote: “Helen Mirren doing a film about the first female prime minister of Israel is a slap in the face to all the people of Palestine, they are literally celebrating taking over Palestine and taking families out of their homes, murdering children, families! Tasteless film!”

Dame Helen Mirren, who won an Oscar for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth in The Queen, is no stranger to Jewish roles. She played a Mossad agent in the 2011 film The Debt. Reports said Mirren learned Hebrew to perfect her performance. Mirren also played a Jewish refugee from World War II who battled the Austrian government for the return of a painting stolen by the Nazis in the 2015 film Woman in Gold.

A staunch defender of Israel, Mirren and 200 Hollywood celebrities signed a letter denouncing the BDS movement in October. Other signatories included Mayim Bialik, Mila Kunis, Neil Patrick Harris and Zachary Quinto.

While visiting Jerusalem in 2016, Mirren explained why she opposes cultural boycotts of Israel. “I think that art is an incredibly important way of communication,” she said. “The artists of the country are the people you need to communicate with and make a relationship with and learn from and build upon. So I absolutely don’t believe in the boycott, and here I am.”

Golda is a thriller which entertainment news site Deadline says “chronicles the high-stake responsibilities and controversial decisions that Meir – also known as the ‘Iron Lady of Israel’ – faced during the Yom Kippur War in 1973.” It’s directed by Israel’s Academy Award winner Guy Nattiv.

The film also features Shira Haas as the younger Golda and Lior Ashkenazi as IDF chief of staff David Elazar.

After six weeks of shooting in London, filming will continue on scene in Israel, Deadline added.

Golda Mabovich was born in Kiev and grew up in Milwaukee, where she became interested in the Labor Zionist youth movement. She and husband Morris Meyerson moved to Mandatory Palestine in 1921, rising through the ranks of the pre-state Histadrut labor union and Jewish Agency. In the months leading up to Israel’s War of Independence, she was able to raise $50 million in the U.S. which was used to purchase badly needed weapons.

Meir had the distinction of receiving the very first passport issued by the State of Israel, given before she left for Moscow to serve as ambassador to Russia.

She became prime minister in 1969, following the death of Levi Eshkol.

Among the key events during her tenure as prime minister were the Cherbourg Boats affair, the Munich Olympic massacre, the Yom Kippur War and the Ma’alot massacre. In that incident, terrorists infiltrated Israel from Lebanon and took 115 Israelis — mostly school children — hostage. The terrorists killed 25 students and six others after a two-day stand-off.

Meir stepped down in 1974, beleaguered by coalition in-fighting and accusations that she bore responsibility for Israel’s lack of preparedness during the Yom Kippur War.

She died of lymphoma in 1978 and is buried on Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem.

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