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January 10, 2014 1:30 pm

Jewish Actress Mayim Bialik Draws Online Praise, Criticism for Posting Picture With IDF Cousin

avatar by Joshua Levitt

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Actress Mayim Bialik with her cousin's son at 5 years old, then as an IDF solider of 20. Photo: Screenshot / Mayim Bialik.

Actress Mayim Bialik with her cousin's son at 5 years old, then as an IDF solider of 20. Photo: Screenshot / Mayim Bialik.

Jewish-American actress and parenting blogger Mayim Bialik drew praise and criticism online on Friday after posting a seemingly innocent photograph, showing her visiting her Israeli cousin’s son as a boy of 5 years old and then as a soldier of the Israel Defense Forces at 20.

Bialik is best known for her lead role in the 1990s NBC sitcom Blossom, as well as her current role as Amy Farrah Fowler on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory. But, as a mother of two sons, she has also become a parenting advocate with a large online following.

On blog Kveller, a website described as “a Jewish Twist on Parenting,” Bialik posted the photo on Thursday with the caption, “A very special  #ThrowbackThursday: Here’s me and my cousin’s son when he was 5 and now, 15 or so years later, as an Israeli soldier. Sweet!”

Cross-posted on Facebook, the post attracted 3,100 likes, with many supportive comments, especially from fans who wanted to know how Bialik appears not to have aged much in the past decade, but also many negative posts, including some virulent anti-Israel comments.

Mohsen Khaleghi wrote, “Israel kills innocent women and children,”  as did Gerard Thornton, “Too bad Israeli soldiers like to kill innocent children,” and Khaled Khalid, “How many Palestinian Children will he have shot at?”

Jewish commenters stood up for her, including Gilad Hillel, who wrote, “This is so weird how all the complains about Israel, comes from people who’ve never been in Israel and basing their arguments on mendacious biased propaganda. you can be against free Israeli state as much as you want, but at least don’t lie. it’s embarrassing you and ONLY you.”

And, beyond her Jewish supporters, the post attracted one vocal Iranian exile who used the opportunity to speak out against the Ayatollah’s regime.

Khashayar Koobideh Kababi wrote, “Abdelhak, Israel is 100X better than any Muslim country. The Muslim countries are a backwater of savagery and barbarism. There will never be democracy in ANY muslim country not now, not in 10,000 years. Thank God I am atheist and not Muslim anymore.”

He also posted, “I urge any fellow Iranians here to stop falling under the sway of the Arabs idiotic propaganda and to abandon Islam also. The religion is a poison on the mind. We should have in Iran a SECULAR country, purged from the dictator of death, Islamic Republic. We need to be ALLIES of Israel, not enemies. To go forward who will be more use to us? The Arabs, these stupid primitives that we are listening to and supporting, or the Jews in Israel, innovators, inventors, and scientists? Please. Discard the religion of Islam, embrace Atheism/Secularism. Free Iran, Death to Islamic Republic, Long live Secular Free Iran and Long live Israel.”

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