Hollywood star Natalie Portman boycotts Israel event

Emma McIntyre  Getty Images
Natalie Portman

The actress's decision to opt out of the event drew both backlash and support, much of which involved speculation about Portman's motivations.

Natalie Portman is speaking out following her decision to not travel to Israel to accept the Genesis Prize.

Portman's statement said her decision had been mischaracterized.

"Let me speak for myself", Portman said later in a statement posted on Instagram. But Portman will no longer choose the recipients, owing to her refusal to attend the award ceremony, according to a statement by Israeli philanthropist Morris Kahn, who supplied half of this year's award.

This led many to interpret her decision as connected to the worldwide criticism of Israel for its military response to Palestinian protests on the Gaza-Israel border during the last few weeks, in which 35 Palestinians were killed. I treasure my Israeli friends and family, Israeli food, books, art, cinema, and dance.

"Please do not choose any phrases that do not arrive out of me personally as my own personal".

The organizers of the weekly protests, which have been named "March of Return", are slated to continue through May 15, when Palestinians commemorate "the Nakba", Arabic for "catastrophe" - the term Palestinians use for the flight and expulsion of an estimated 700,000 Palestinians seven decades ago upon Israel's creation.

Erdan invited Portman to Israel to tour the Gaza border and to meet Israeli families there, saying the media had "distorted the truth and portrayed the recent riots on the Israel-Gaza border as peaceful demonstrations, and Israel's response as disproportionate".

Portman, a Jerusalem native, did not specify which recent events led to her decision.

Portman is still expected to receive the $2 million prize that comes with winning the award. The Israeli military used sniper fire to kill unarmed protestors in the region. Hundreds more have been wounded by Israeli troops during this time.

Israel has said it is doing what it must to defend its borders. "She's an actress, but she is unworthy of any honor in the State of Israel".

In 2009, the actor joined others in protesting calls to boycott the Toronto International Film Festival for its staging of a Tel Aviv-themed event.

"She's totally one of us, identifies with her Jewishness and Israeliness". She identifies with her Jewishness and Israeli-ness. "She's speaking for many in U.S. Jewry, especially the young generation", Azaria wrote on Twitter. This is a community that was always a significant anchor for the state of Israel. "Losing them might be too high a price".

Now politician Oren Hazan from the Likud party has branded it "complete craziness" that she was awarded the prize in the first place.

He invited her to visit and see for herself the situation on the ground.

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