Natalie Portman refuses to attend Israeli award ceremony due to 'recent events'

Angelo Anderson
April 20, 2018

The prize ceremony will reportedly be cancelled as a effect of Portman's determination.

The organizers of the million-dollar Genesis Prize, awarded for commitment to Israel and Judaism, subsequently announced they will not hold the ceremony this year.

Natalie Portman will not travel to Israel to accept the "Jewish Nobel" citing "recent events" in the country, it was revealed on Thursday. The foundation said that Portman's representative notified it that "r$3 ecent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her and she does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel" and that "she can not in good conscience move forward with the ceremony". She joined artist Anish Kapoor, violinist Itzhak Perlman, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and actor-director Michael Douglas as victor of the $1 million prize, which "honors individuals who serve as an inspiration to the next generation of Jews through their outstanding professional achievement along with their commitment to Jewish values and the Jewish people".

Portman, who was born in Jerusalem and has dual Israeli-American citizenship, was announced as the victor of the award in November.

"Ms. Portman is a highly accomplished actress, a committed social activist and a wonderful human being". Portman said she would give the money to programmes furthering women's equality, according to the foundation. "We fear that Ms. Portman's decision will cause our philanthropic initiative to be politicised".

The Gaza border has seen protests and clashes since March 30. Thirty-one Palestinians have been killed and hundreds more wounded.

In Thursday's statement, the Genesis foundation quoted a representative for Portman as saying that "recent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her" and that "she can not in good conscience move forward with the ceremony".

Palestinians say protesters are being shot while posing no threat to soldiers, while the European Union and United Nations chief Antonio Guterres have called for an independent investigation.

Previous winners have included former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, sculptor Anish Kapoor, violinist Itzhak Perlman and Hollywood actor Michael Douglas, all of whom donated their prize money to charitable causes.

Meanwhile, Natalie can next be seen in Vox Lux playing the role of a rising pop star named Celeste.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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