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Israeli awards ceremony cancelled as Natalie Portman opts out

21 April 2018

Portman said she would be donating her award to women's rights groups.

In a statement, the 36-year-old said: "Let me speak for myself. I treasure my Israeli friends and family, Israeli food, books, art, cinema, and dance". Portman's decision also coincides the Israel marking 70 years of its existence.

The US actress was born in Jerusalem. Peace activists, including the United States-based Jewish Voices for Peace thanked the actress for taking a stance. The ceremony was scheduled to take place on June 28 but has now been cancelled entirely as a result of Portman's withdrawal. Still, many congratulated her on the move.

The Genesis Prize Foundation stated that Portman is extremely upset about "recent events in Israel". Hundreds more have been wounded by Israeli troops during this time. Several Israeli communities are located near the Gaza border. Israel has garnered negative attention frequently for using firearms against unarmed protestors along the dividing fence between the country and Gaza.

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"I was saddened to hear that Natalie Portman has fallen as a ripe fruit in the hands of BDS supporters", Regev said, implying Portman's decision was linked to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. "Natalie, a Jewish actress who was born in Israel, now joins those who refer to the success and wonder of the rebirth of Israel as "a tale of darkness and darkness".

Lawmaker from the centrist Kulanu party, Rachel Azaria, believes that that Portman's decision is a symbol to the declining suppport the country is getting from young American Jews. Azaria has heralded Portman's cancellation as "a warning light" to those refusing to compromise. "She is totally one of us".

Upton was likely treated very well by Israeli locals due to her great personality and obvious Shiksa appeal. "We could pay too high a price for losing them".

Portman has long opposed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose racist remarks in 2015 sparked quite a lot of dissension between the two.

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Gilad Erdan, Israel's Public Security Minister said he sent a letter to Portman expressing his disappointment.

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

Portman said in her statement that the backlash has inspired her to make numerous contributions to charities in Israel. GPF plans to announce initial grants related to this theme this spring.

The prize was launched in 2013 with the objective of recognising Jewish achievement and contributions to humanity.

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As for the $1 million prize money offered to the annual winners-which have included Michael Bloomberg, Michael Douglas, Itzhak Perlman, and Anish Kapoor-it remains unclear whether or not Portman still has a check coming in the mail or not. "I am proud of my Israeli roots and Jewish heritage; they are crucial parts of who I am".

Israeli awards ceremony cancelled as Natalie Portman opts out