Natalie Portman refuses to attend ceremony for Israeli million-dollar prize

Natalie Portman Cancels Plans To Attend Award Ceremony In Israel Due To 'Recent Events'

Portman's decision should serve a lesson to Indian actors and prominent names from Bollywood including Amitabh Bachchan, Karan Johar, Madhur Bhandarkar, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Imtiaz Ali, who were awestruck by being in his Netanyahu's company. when the latter arrived in India few months ago.

An Israeli politician has referred to as for Natalie Portman to be stripped of her citizenship after she pulled out of a prestigious Jewish awards ceremony.

On Thursday, a representative for Portman told the Genesis Prize foundation that Portman will not travel to Israel to accept an award she was scheduled to receive in June, saying she "cannot in good conscience move forward with the ceremony", according to Israeli news outlet Haaretz.

When asked on the matter, the representative for Portman did not respond back for any comment.

The Oscar-award winning actor was due to be the recipient of the Genesis Prize, dubbed the "Jewish Nobel", but withdrew from the ceremony citing extreme distress at "recent events in Israel".

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Genesis Prize Foundation - which is described as the "Jewish Nobel Prize" recognizing Jewish people who have achieved excellence in their fields - has made a decision to cancel the 2018 ceremony in light of Portman's non-attendance.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also sparked controversy by announcing and then rescinding an agreement to settle African asylum seekers living in Israel in Western countries. Apart from venting their anger over Portman's decision, many also took offense with the timing, because it comes just days after Israel celebrated the 70th Independence Day.

Israel's right-wing Culture Minister Miri Regev said in a statement Friday that she was sorry to hear that Portman "has fallen like a ripe fruit into the hands of BDS supporters", referring to the Palestinian-led boycott movement.

"We fear that Ms. Portman's decision will cause our philanthropic initiative to be politicized, something we have worked hard for the past five years to avoid", the foundation said. When Portman was announced as a victor, she stressed that she was "proud of my Israeli roots and Jewish heritage".

The Genesis Prize was created in 2013 to recognize Jewish contributions to humanity. "The prize money will be distributed by the Genesis Prize Foundation, not by Ms. Portman".

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.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is this year's inaugural recipient of the Genesis Lifetime Achievement Award. It was to honor nongovernmental organizations working on women's equality and empowerment issues. She pledged to announce those grants soon.

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