American film star and television host Morgan Freeman is reportedly back in Israel but keeping a low profile after his last visit caused some controversy.
Freeman was spotted at the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City on Wednesday and later in Bethlehem in the West Bank, according to Hadashot News entertainment reporter Gil Mishali.
Freeman is in Israel again as part of his work on National Geographic’s “The Story of God,” a series that charts the deity’s role in world culture.
There was no publicity or comment this time from Freeman.
— Gil mishali גיל משעלי (@gilmishali) November 21, 2018
During Freeman’s 2016 visit, he removed the word “Israel” from a photo taken in Jerusalem, after a Facebook post received torrents of criticism from anti-Israel activists.
As has become commonplace in such cases, the post quickly turned into a battleground between supporters and detractors of the Jewish state. Pro-Israelis congratulated the actor on his visit to the country, while pro-Palestinian activists criticized the photo, or urged him to recognize the city as Palestinian.
Freeman may have twice depicted God on-screen but still has questions about religion.
While filming at the 4th-century Church of the Holy Sepulcher in the Old City of Jerusalem in 2015, Freeman told Reuters that he was “primarily interested in why, what is the why of it,” but admitted that he hadn’t found any answers yet.
Freeman tried to keep out of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying at the time that he “didn’t have a message for anybody” but was simply here “doing a documentary.”