Natalie Portman Embraces Boycott of Israel, Refuses 'Israel's Nobel Prize'

Natalie Portman Embraces Boycott of Israel, Refuses 'Israel's Nobel Prize'

Carla Harmon
April 20, 2018

She reportedly "cannot in good conscience move forward with the ceremony". Israel says it is defending its border and accuses Gaza's rulers, the Islamic militant Hamas group, of trying to carry out attacks under the guise of protests.

The foundation quoted Portman's rep as saying that "recent events in Israel have been extremely distressing" to the actress, and that "she can not in good conscience move forward with the ceremony".

In their statement confirming the news, the Genesis Foundation said it had a number of conversations with Portman and was advised by her representative that Portman's decision was "firm and will not change".

Portman had initially agreed to accept the $2 million award at a ceremony scheduled for June.

Thursday's statement did not refer to specific events that would have prompted Portman's decision.

Portman, who was born in Jerusalem before moving to the United Staes, has added a lifetime of activism to her acting reel, including work in gender equality and animal rights.

But in a statement following the Genesis Prize announcement in November, Portman said she is "proud of my Israeli roots and Jewish heritage".

Said prize, which is known as the 'Jewish Nobel, ' honors 'extraordinary individuals who serve as an inspiration to the next generation of Jews through their outstanding professional achievement, commitment to Jewish values and to the Jewish people'.

Thirty-one Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of a mass protest, the Great March Return, on March 30 along the fenced 65-km Gaza-Israel frontier.

"Portman is a highly accomplished actress, a committed social activist and a wonderful human being".

The Jerusalem-born "Black Swan" actress was scheduled to accept the Genesis Prize, a so-called Jewish Nobel, in June, but the Genesis Prize Foundation said in a news release on Thursday that a rep for Portman explained the Oscar victor would not attend because of "recent events in Israel".

Previous winners of the prestigious prize include media baron and politician Michael Bloomberg, musician Itzhak Perlman and actor Michael Douglas. "We anxiety that Ms. Portman's choice will create our brand new initiative to be politicized, something we have worked hard for the past five years to avert", it claimed.

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