Natalie Portman Reveals Why She Skipped Israeli Prize Ceremony After Government Official Slams Her


Natalie Portman wants to make it clear why she canceled a planned trip to receive a prestigious Israeli award after a government official in the country slammed her.

The Oscar-winning actress, 36, was announced as the honoree of the Genesis Prize Laureate, the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in Israel in November.

In a statement obtained by PEOPLE, the actress says her decision “not to attend the Genesis Prize ceremony has been mischaracterized by others.”

“Let me speak for myself. I chose not to attend because I did not want to appear as endorsing Benjamin Netanyahu, who was to be giving a speech at the ceremony,” she explained. “By the same token, I am not part of the BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] movement and do not endorse it.”

“Like many Israelis and Jews around the world, I can be critical of the leadership in Israel without wanting to boycott the entire nation,” Portman continued. “I treasure my Israeli friends and family, Israeli food, books, art, cinema, and dance.”

“Israel was created exactly 70 years ago as a haven for refugees from the Holocaust. But the mistreatment of those suffering from today’s atrocities is simply not in line with my Jewish values,” she wrote. “Because I care about Israel, I must stand up against violence, corruption, inequality, and abuse of power.”

She added, “Please do not take any words that do not come directly from me as my own. This experience has inspired me to support a…

Sasha Harriet

Sasha Harriet

As content editor, I get to do what I love everyday. Tweet, share and promote the best content our tools find on a daily basis.

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Sasha Harriet

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