US actress turns down Israeli award over Gaza violence


The actress, who is a dual Israeli-American citizen, was to receive a prestigious award in Israel in June.

When it was announced that Portman would be the 2018 recipient, the actor stated she was proud of her "Israeli roots and Jewish heritage".

Natalie Portman has decided against traveling to Israel in June to receive her award from the Genesis Prize Foundation due to reasons that prompted her not to participate in events in the country.

Natalie Portman has pulled out of a ceremony in Jerusalem honoring her as the recipient of a $2 million prize, dubbed by some as the "Jewish Nobel", the organization said Thursday.

The announcement doesn't specify what exactly made Portman change her mind.

While Portman declined further comment, the decision comes as an apparent response to mass protests on the Gaza-Israel border that saw scores of Palestinians shot dead by Israeli Defense Forces and more than 1,000 injured, and her ongoing opposition to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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"I was sorry to hear that Natalie Portman has fallen like ripe fruit to the hands of BDS supporters", Regev said in a statement given to Israeli journalists. Thirty-one Palestinians have been killed and hundreds more wounded. "Portman, a Jewish actress born in Israel, joins those who tell the successful, wondrous founding of the State of Israel as 'a tale of darkness and darkness'". In addition to The Genesis Prize, it is given to the person who is considered an inspiration to the next generations of Jews by their commitment to Jewish values, charity, tolerance, and social justice, according to the website of the Foundation.

The award aims to recognize Jewish contributions and achievements in all areas of life. Previously, the United States actor already expressed her political views, voicing her opposition to the re-election of Benjamin Netanyahu and distancing herself from an email drive about the Gaza conflict [VIDEO]. Israel's military says its actions are meant to defend its border from attackers posing as protestors who would likely cross the boundary illegally, and therefore harm Israeli communities and soldiers.

A representative for Portman, 36, did not immediately respond.

Omar Barghouti, a co-founder of the pro-Palestinian B.D.S. movement did seize on Portman's decision as a win for his cause, in an email to The New York Times. You know, shit on Israel.

Previous winners included influencers like Mayor of Newyork Michael Bloomberg, sculptor Anish Kapoor and Hollywood actror Michael Douglas.