Home LIFESTYLE Style News Natalie Portman Pulls out of Israel-Based Honor

Natalie Portman Pulls out of Israel-Based Honor

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Natalie Portman has pulled out of an awards ceremony in Israel, apparently due to “extremely distressing” recent events in Israel. The actress–who was born in Jerusalem and made her directorial debut, A Tale of Love and Darkness, in Israel– was told in November that she was to be honored by the Genesis Prize Foundation with the fifth annual Genesis Prize Laureate. When she informed the foundation she would no longer be accepting the award, the ceremony was canceled.

The foundation delivered the news on their Web site.

“The Genesis Prize Foundation (G.P.F.) was notified by a representative of Ms. Portman 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.’”

In addition, the foundation sent its “apologies to everyone who has been affected by this decision, particularly to the hundreds of international guests who made plans to fly to Jerusalem to honor Ms. Portman” and celebrate the event.

Portman has been frank about her feelings on Israeli politics, telling The Hollywood Reporter that she did not approve of current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose remarks have proved controversial in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “I’m very much against Netanyahu,” she said. “Against. I am very, very upset and disappointed that he was re-elected.” Portman, who moved from Israel to New York City when she was three, has spoken often about Judaism and her own beliefs, as in an interview with The Independent in 2015:

“I think a really big question the Jewish community needs to ask itself, is how much at the forefront we put Holocaust education,” she said then. “Which is, of course, an important question to remember and to respect, but not over other things. We need to be reminded that hatred exists at all times and reminds us to be empathetic to other people that have experienced hatred also. Not used as a paranoid way of thinking that we are victims.”

Past Genesis Prize laureates, an award referred to by the foundation as “the Jewish Nobel Prize,” include __Itzhak Perlman__and former New York mayor, Michael Bloomberg.

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Full ScreenPhotos:Natalie Portman’s Awards-Season Style
At a photocall in Venice (September 7, 2016)

At a photocall in Venice (September 7, 2016)

Wearing a RED Valentino dress.

Photo: by Camilla Morandi/Corbis/Getty Images.

At the Venice Film Festival (September 7, 2016)

At the Venice Film Festival (September 7, 2016)

Wearing a Valentino gown.

Photo: by Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images.

At the Toronto International Film Festival (September 11, 2016)

At the Toronto International Film Festival (September 11, 2016)

Wearing a Prada dress and Tiffany & Co. jewels.

Photo: by Michael Tran/Getty Images.

At the New York Film Festival (October 13, 2016)

At the New York Film Festival (October 13, 2016)

Wearing a Dior dress and Van Cleef & Arpels jewels.

Photo: by Brent N. Clarke/FilmMagic.

At the Screen Actors Guild Awards (January 29, 2017)

At the Screen Actors Guild Awards (January 29, 2017)

Wearing a Dior gown and Tiffany & Co. dress.

Photo: By by Steve Granitz/WireImage.

At *Jimmy Kimmel Live* (January 30, 2017)

At Jimmy Kimmel Live (January 30, 2017)

Wearing a Proenza Schouler dress.

Photo: by PG/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images.

At the Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon (February 06, 2017)

At the Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon (February 06, 2017)

Wearing a Topshop dress.

Photo: by Dan MacMedan/WireImage.

At a photocall in Venice (September 7, 2016)

At a photocall in Venice (September 7, 2016)

Wearing a RED Valentino dress.

by Camilla Morandi/Corbis/Getty Images.

At the Venice Film Festival (September 7, 2016)

At the Venice Film Festival (September 7, 2016)

Wearing a Valentino gown.

by Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images.

At the Toronto International Film Festival (September 11, 2016)

At the Toronto International Film Festival (September 11, 2016)

Wearing a Prada dress and Tiffany & Co. jewels.

by Michael Tran/Getty Images.

At the New York Film Festival (October 13, 2016)

At the New York Film Festival (October 13, 2016)

Wearing a Dior dress and Van Cleef & Arpels jewels.

by Brent N. Clarke/FilmMagic.

At the Hollywood Film Awards (November 6, 2016)

At the Hollywood Film Awards (November 6, 2016)

Wearing a dress by the Row.

by Steve Granitz/WireImage.

At A.F.I. Fest (November 14, 2016)

At A.F.I. Fest (November 14, 2016)

Wearing a Dior gown.

by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images.

At the Gotham Independent Film Awards (November 28, 2016)

At the Gotham Independent Film Awards (November 28, 2016)

Wearing a Rodarte dress and Sidney Garber jewels.

By Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic.

On <em>The Tonight Show</em> (November 29, 2016)

On The Tonight Show (November 29, 2016)

Wearing a Brandon Maxwell dress and Sidney Garber jewels.

by Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/Getty Images.

At the Vulture Awards Season Party (December 8, 2016)

At the Vulture Awards Season Party (December 8, 2016)

Wearing an Isabel Marant dress and Sidney Garber jewels.

by JB Lacroix/WireImage.

At the Critics’ Choice Awards (December 11, 2016)

At the Critics’ Choice Awards (December 11, 2016)

Wearing an Alexander McQueen dress and Cartier jewels.

by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic.

At the Huading Global Film Awards (December 15, 2016)

At the Huading Global Film Awards (December 15, 2016)

Wearing an Erdem gown and Monique Péan earrings.

by Michael Tran/FilmMagic.

At the Palm Springs International Film Festival (January 2, 2017)

At the Palm Springs International Film Festival (January 2, 2017)

Wearing a Dior gown and Tiffany and Co. jewels.

by Steve Granitz/WireImage.

At the Golden Globes (January 8, 2017)

At the Golden Globes (January 8, 2017)

Wearing a Prada gown and Tiffany & Co. jewels.

by Steve Granitz/WireImage.

At the Screen Actors Guild Awards (January 29, 2017)

At the Screen Actors Guild Awards (January 29, 2017)

Wearing a Dior gown and Tiffany & Co. dress.

By by Steve Granitz/WireImage.

At <em>Jimmy Kimmel Live</em> (January 30, 2017)

At Jimmy Kimmel Live (January 30, 2017)

Wearing a Proenza Schouler dress.

by PG/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images.

At the Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon (February 06, 2017)

At the Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon (February 06, 2017)

Wearing a Topshop dress.

by Dan MacMedan/WireImage.

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