Culture&Arts

Natalie Portman backs out of Israeli award ceremony

Natalie Portman backs out of Israeli award ceremony

However, on Thursday (19Apr18), representatives for The Genesis Prize Foundation revealed Natalie will no longer travel to Israel to accept the honour because she "doesn't feel comfortable" being there following "recent events" in the country. Israel has drawn sharp criticism in recent months for confrontations with Palestinian protesters on its Gaza border.

Portman, who was born in Israel and has duel Israeli and American citizenship, did not specify which "recent events" were the catalyst for her decision, though she is not the first performer to cancel public appearances in Israel due to protests over the country's ongoing conflict with Palestinians. "I am proud of my Israeli roots and Jewish heritage; they are crucial parts of who I am".

Portman clarified that she does not support the BDS movement or other boycotts against Israel.

"She is totally one of us, identifies with her Judaism and her Israeliness", she wrote, adding that Portman is "now speaking for many Jews in the United States, and is essentially the young generation".

In the wake of Portman's decision, the Genesis Prize Foundation said it would distribute the $2 million to women's rights groups, but not those of Portman's choosing.

Academy Award victor Natalie Portman has politely declined to attend an awards show in Israel at which she was to be presented with a major award, citing "recent events" via her representatives.

In her explanation, Portman says she didn't want to give the impression that she supported the actions of Israel's current government by attending, though she also notes she is not part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement now calling for a boycott of Israel in support of Palestinians. But the mis treatment of the experiencing rsquo & today;s atrocities is not consistent line with my values.

In a statement posted on her Instagram page, the "Annihilation" actor said her reasoning for opting out of the event, which has since been cancelled, has been mischaracterised by the media. I treasure family and my friendsfood items, books, art, cinema, and dancing. Because I care about Israel, I must stand up against violence, corruption, inequality, and abuse of power.

"Israel was created exactly 70 years ago as a haven for refugees from the Holocaust", she said.

They went on to say that they feared Portman's choice would "trigger our philanthropic initiative to be politicised". Laureates of the Genesis Prize include Michael R. Bloomberg (2014), Michael Douglas (2015), Itzhak Perlman (2016), and Anish Kapoor (2017).

I think all Israelis know that it's much easier to criticize in Israel than outside, I don't know, it's such a hard combination to be ... to obviously have deep love for the place you're from and also see what's wrong with it.


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