Natalie Portman refuses to receive Genesis Prize in Israel

April 22, 2018 by JNS
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Hollywood Actress and director Natalie Portman, who once said that she would not “you know, s**t on Israel,” has announced that she did not “feel comfortable” accepting an esteemed award in the Jewish state due to “recent events.”

The Israeli-born actress and director does not “feel comfortable” participating in public events in Israel anymore due to “recent events.”

The Genesis Prize, akin to a “Jewish Nobel,” is handed out annually in Israel and comes with a $1 million prize to “honor 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.”

The award foundation said it was “very saddened” to have received word from Portman’s representatives that “recent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her, and she does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel,” and that “she cannot in good conscience move forward with the ceremony.”

Despite Portman’s rejection of the award ceremony, the Genesis Prize Foundation told Haaretz that she did not intend to return her prize money, nor the $1 million matching grant she was promised by Israeli philanthropist Morris Kahn.

As is the custom among Genesis Prize winners, Portman, who was born in Jerusalem, planned to donate her prize money to charity. She had already notified the foundation that she would give her award to international and Israeli causes dedicated to women.

In a statement following the Genesis Prize announcement in November, Portman said she is “proud of my Israeli roots and Jewish heritage.”

The 36-year-old has previous stood against the BDS movement, protesting efforts to keep the Toronto International Film Festival from staging a Tel Aviv-themed event in 2009.

Portman came out as “very, very upset and disappointed” when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was elected in 2015, but said she did not “want to use my platform [in the wrong way] and “you know, s**t on Israel.”

JNS

Comments

6 Responses to “Natalie Portman refuses to receive Genesis Prize in Israel”
  1. Leon Poddebsky says:

    Netta li will soon be telling the world that the Hamas tunnels are actually intended to enhance Israel’s tourism industry.

    Hamas and BDS are laughing in the aisles at their latest acquisition.

  2. Liat Kirby says:

    If Portman was a person of principle she would have nothing at all to do with the Genesis Prize – what a false dichotomy to attach herself to the prize money but not have anything to do with the public events associated with it.

    So she was ‘very, very upset and disappointed’ when Netanyahu was elected in 2015 and ‘recent events in Israel have been very distressing to her’. She lives in the USA, not Israel. Being born in Jerusalem is neither her nor there if she’s not living in Israel with the tensions and problems that abound with security in mind for Israel’s continued good survival. Let no one make the kind of judgement she makes if they live outside the war zone. Her idealised world and thinking cannot touch the realities. She’s a privileged woman with delusions.

  3. Adrian Jackson says:

    Portman is a person of principle it would appear.

    Perhaps not a majority, but many in Israel and abroad do not support Israel PM Netanyahu either.

    • Leon Poddebsky says:

      Well, “Adrian,” the rest of us are very dismayed that you do not “support” PM Netanyahu.
      Would you suggest that a former Australian Foreign Minister would make a better Israeli PM?
      That question, by comparison to the tonnes of waste that is poured out by media daily about Israel, is actually relatively sensible.

  4. Eion Isaac says:

    She has every right to make this stand if she feels there have been excesses unecessary excesses in the defence of the Jewish people in recent times .
    Many would disagree especially with Hamas displaying Nazi Symbols and with the Hamas anti Jewish fascistic ultraapartheid charter .
    The history of Islamic Brotherhood preWW2 and after alliance with Nazi Germany was vile and cannot be denied by what happened .

    • Leon Poddebsky says:

      Well, Eion, who has denied that she has such a right?
      Are you implying that she has immunity from criticism because she is a Hollywood film actress?
      Can you name any of the “atrocities”[sic] to which she referred?
      Maybe you could also let us know when she exercised her right to criticise any Arab entity for butchering Jewish babies in their sleep.

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