Yuval Noah Harari Rebuffs Israeli Consulate Event in Protest of New Israeli Laws

After enactment of nation-state and surrogacy laws, historian and best-selling author declines to be associated with Israeli policy

Prof. Noah Harari, 2015: Shown wearing blue-framed glasses, shaven. Some hair loss on top.
Rami Zarnegar

Best-selling Israeli author Yuval Noah Harari declined to participate in an Israeli consulate event in Los Angeles, in protest at Israel's enactment of the Nation-State and surrogacy laws, Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Monday.

Prof. Harari, a historian and author of "Sapiens: A Brief History of humankind," "Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow" and "21 Lessons for the 21th Century," explained through a representative that he is "proud of his Israeliness," but that the consulate is the long arm of Israeli government policy, which is restraining the freedom of  the press, expression, creativity and thought.

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The consulate had planned a reception for the professor before the Live Talks LA meeting, a project in which various speakers visit Los Angeles and lecture on their lives or success. Harari was scheduled for an interview in September.

The consulate representative, Karin Eliyahu-Pery, said that the Foreign Ministry isn't a poll body. Harari's representative answered that even so, they prefer not to represent the Israeli government as long as it persists with this policy.

In July, legislators voted against allowing same-sex couples to build a family using surrogate mothers, and also passed a controversial bill that officially defines Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people and asserts that "the realization of the right to national self-determination in Israel is unique to the Jewish people."