Hollywood star Natalie Portman boycotts Israel event

Hollywood star Natalie Portman boycotts Israel event

Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman has cancelled her participation in a Jerusalem ceremony where she was to receive a $2 million (1.6 million euro) prize, saying she was troubled by "recent events" in Israel, organisers said.

In light of "recent events" in the country, Natalie Portman has pulled out of a prominent Israeli award ceremony.

Although the representative for Natalie Portman did not elaborate on her reasons for snubbing the awards, one only needs to look at what was - in her statement - referred to as "recent events in Israel".

Portman was announced in November as the 2018 Genesis Prize Laureate and had pledged to give the prize money to programs focused on advancing women's equality.

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

The Genesis foundation said it was "very saddened" by Portman's decision and would cancel the prize ceremony, which had been set for June 28.

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Portman, who was born in Israel and is significantly older than Upton, decided on Thursday to take a stand against the Jewish state, refusing the prestigious Genesis Prize because she didn't want to travel to Israel to receive it.

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The Genesis Prize "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". Israeli troops firing live ammunition and rubber bullets killed at least 17 Palestinians during the demonstrations.

Portman's criticizing of Netanyahu dates back to his 2015 election day video message on Facebook urging supporters to hurry up and vote as, "The right-wing government is in danger, Arab voters are heading to the polling stations in droves". "Against. I am very, very upset and disappointed that he was re-elected".

The prize "honors individuals who have attained excellence and worldwide renown in their chosen professional fields, and who inspire others through their engagement and dedication to the Jewish community and/or the State of Israel".

In comments reported by Israeli media, Culture Minister Miri Regev said Friday that she was sorry Portman had "fallen like a ripe fruit into the hands of BDS supporters", a reference to a Palestinian-led campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel.

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