Mike Leigh has cancelled a trip to Israel in protest at the controversial loyalty oath bill.
The British Jewish film director said he had been stupid and naïve to agree to teach a master class at Jerusalem’s Sam Spiegel Film and Television School and that he had no choice but to let his audience down.
He said: “I cannot come, I do not want to come, and I am not coming.”
Mr Leigh was due to visit in November and receive an honorary fellowship award from the school, as well as speak in Haifa and Tel Aviv and to Palestinian filmmakers in the West Bank.
The newly amended Citizenship Law, approved by the cabinet on Sunday and requiring all foreign non-Jewish citizens wishing to become Israeli to pledge allegiance to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, is polarising opinion in Israel and across the world.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is preparing the ground for a possible centrist coalition, if a resumption of talks with Palestinian Authority and an extension of the settlement freeze cause a major crisis within his government.
Another week has gone by without a decision by Mr Netanyahu on the future of the settlement freeze, now at the centre of Palestinian conditions for continuing direct peace talks.