The Israel-born actress says she is “uncomfortable with recent events.”
“Natalie Portman’s cancellation should be a warning sign. She’s totally one of us, identifies with her Jewishness and Israeliness. She’s expressing the voices of many in US Jewry, and particularly those of the younger generation.”
— Rachel Azaria, Kulanu Party member of Knesset
Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman has refused to travel for Israel to accept a $2 million award known as the “Jewish Nobel” because she is “uncomfortable with recent events” there, apparently referring to the deadly violence directed against Palestinian protesters in Gaza.
“She cannot in good conscience move forward with the ceremony,” a statement from the Hollywood superstar said.
The Genesis Prize quickly announced it was canceling its June prize ceremony for Portman saying it was “saddened” at her decision, which it said could “politicize” the award, which has previously gone to Michael Bloomberg, Itzhak Perlman and Michael Douglas.
The Israeli government wasted no time in lashing out at Portman, accusing the Jerusalem-born actress of betraying the Jewish state.
Culture minister Miri Regev slammed the “Black Swan” star for falling “like ripe fruit into the hands of BDS supporters.”