Morgan Freeman Visits Western Wall for ‘Story of God’ Series
Movie star Morgan Freeman visited Jerusalem’s Western Wall on Sunday, in spite of the current security situation in Israel, local news website nrg reported.
Freeman, who met with Kotel Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, is in Israel filming on location for the upcoming National Geographic documentary series he is producing and hosting, “The Story of God,” slated to air in 2016 in 171 countries and 45 languages.
Freeman’s Israel trip comes on the heels of a jaunt to Egypt, where he filmed the Pyramids, also for the TV program, which is described as an “epic adventure and profoundly personal journey into the eternal mysteries of the divine.”
As Freeman — who has received Academy Award nominations for his performances in “Street Smart,” “Driving Miss Daisy,” “The Shawshank Redemption” and “Invictus” – and won best supporting actor for his role in “Million Dollar Baby” – told Variety in June: “The story of God is one of the greatest mysteries and most important ideas in the world. For me, this is a personal and enduring quest to understand the divine, and I am humbled by the opportunity to take viewers along on this incredible journey.”
His “quest for the divine” aside, Freeman has been interested in politics as well, arousing ire on both sides of the aisle.
In 2013, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel called on Freeman to cancel his participation in a fundraiser sponsored by Canadian Friends of Hebrew University, held at the Toronto Center for the Arts.
Warning Freeman — who played apartheid warrior Nelson Mandela in “Invictus” – not to abet Israel in any way, the group sent him a strong message.
“Given that Israel practices forms of racism through its system of colonialism, occupation and apartheid,” the message said, “and violates the rights of Palestinians to education and life, it is cynical, and nothing short of a dishonor to your lifelong achievements to be accepting an award from a group that is in deep support of an Israeli University complicit in Israel’s systematic violations of human rights and international law.”
Though earlier that year, musician Stevie Wonder had succumbed to similar pressure and pulled out of a Los Angeles fundraiser for American Friends of the IDF, Freeman was not swayed.
This year, however, he did appear in a video, along with other Hollywood stars and renowned figures, promoting the Iranian nuclear deal – and calling on viewers to pressure Congress to accept it.