Natalie Portman Addresses Canceled Israel Trip: ‘I Must Stand Up Against Violence’

Natalie Portman has spoken out about political unrest surrounding her Israeli citizenship and a canceled trip to the country.

“My decision not to attend … has been mischaracterized by others. Let me speak for myself,” Portman wrote on Instagram on Friday.

The “Black Swan” star canceled a scheduled June appearance on Thursday over recent events she found “extremely distressing,” and says she no longer felt comfortable taking a recognition from Israel’s Genesis Prize Foundation.

“I chose not to attend because I did not want to appear as endorsing Benjamin Netanyahu, who was to be giving a speech at the ceremony. By the same token, I am not part of the BDS [Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions ] movement and do not endorse it. Like many Israelis and Jews around the world, I can be critical of the leadership in Israel without wanting to boycott the entire nation,” Portman wrote.

Also Read: Natalie Portman Won’t Accept Award in Israel Due to ‘Extremely Distressing’ Recent Events

Likud party member Oren Hazan challenged the star’s move, reported the Israeli National News.

“[She is] a Jewish Israeli, who on the one hand cynically uses her birthplace to advance her career and on the other is proud of the fact that she managed to avoid enlisting in the IDF. She’s an actress, but she is unworthy of any honor in the State of Israel,” Hazan said.

Hazan added: “Sweetness can come from strength: I call on Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) to rescind Portman’s Israeli citizenship. She left Israel at age four, and has no real connection to the State.”

While Portman did not address the politician by name, she concluded her post by saying, “Israel was created exactly 70 years ago as a haven for refugees from the Holocaust. But the mistreatment of those suffering from today’s atrocities is simply not in line with my Jewish values. O, corruption, inequality, and abuse of power.”

Read her full remarks:

My decision not to attend the Genesis Prize ceremony has been mischaracterized by others. Let me speak for myself. I chose not to attend because I did not want to appear as endorsing Benjamin Netanyahu, who was to be giving a speech at the ceremony. By the same token, I am not part of the BDS movement and do not endorse it. Like many Israelis and Jews around the world, I can be critical of the leadership in Israel without wanting to boycott the entire nation. I treasure my Israeli friends and family, Israeli food, books, art, cinema, and dance. Israel was created exactly 70 years ago as a haven for refugees from the Holocaust. But the mistreatment of those suffering from today’s atrocities is simply not in line with my Jewish values. O, corruption, inequality, and abuse of power.

My decision not to attend the Genesis Prize ceremony has been mischaracterized by others. Let me speak for myself. I chose not to attend because I did not want to appear as endorsing Benjamin Netanyahu, who was to be giving a speech at the ceremony. By the same token, I am not part of the BDS movement and do not endorse it. Like many Israelis and Jews around the world, I can be critical of the leadership in Israel without wanting to boycott the entire nation. I treasure my Israeli friends and family, Israeli food, books, art, cinema, and dance. Israel was created exactly 70 years ago as a haven for refugees from the Holocaust. But the mistreatment of those suffering from today’s atrocities is simply not in line with my Jewish values. Because I care about Israel, I must stand up against violence, corruption, inequality, and abuse of power. Please do not take any words that do not come directly from me as my own. This experience has inspired me to support a number of charities in Israel. I will be announcing them soon, and I hope others will join me in supporting the great work they are doing.

A post shared by Natalie Portman (@natalieportman) on

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Natalie Portman has spoken out about political unrest surrounding her Israeli citizenship and a canceled trip to the country.

“My decision not to attend … has been mischaracterized by others. Let me speak for myself,” Portman wrote on Instagram on Friday.

The “Black Swan” star canceled a scheduled June appearance on Thursday over recent events she found “extremely distressing,” and says she no longer felt comfortable taking a recognition from Israel’s Genesis Prize Foundation.

“I chose not to attend because I did not want to appear as endorsing Benjamin Netanyahu, who was to be giving a speech at the ceremony. By the same token, I am not part of the BDS [Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions ] movement and do not endorse it. Like many Israelis and Jews around the world, I can be critical of the leadership in Israel without wanting to boycott the entire nation,” Portman wrote.

Likud party member Oren Hazan challenged the star’s move, reported the Israeli National News.

“[She is] a Jewish Israeli, who on the one hand cynically uses her birthplace to advance her career and on the other is proud of the fact that she managed to avoid enlisting in the IDF. She’s an actress, but she is unworthy of any honor in the State of Israel,” Hazan said.

Hazan added: “Sweetness can come from strength: I call on Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) to rescind Portman’s Israeli citizenship. She left Israel at age four, and has no real connection to the State.”

While Portman did not address the politician by name, she concluded her post by saying, “Israel was created exactly 70 years ago as a haven for refugees from the Holocaust. But the mistreatment of those suffering from today’s atrocities is simply not in line with my Jewish values. O, corruption, inequality, and abuse of power.”

Read her full remarks:

My decision not to attend the Genesis Prize ceremony has been mischaracterized by others. Let me speak for myself. I chose not to attend because I did not want to appear as endorsing Benjamin Netanyahu, who was to be giving a speech at the ceremony. By the same token, I am not part of the BDS movement and do not endorse it. Like many Israelis and Jews around the world, I can be critical of the leadership in Israel without wanting to boycott the entire nation. I treasure my Israeli friends and family, Israeli food, books, art, cinema, and dance. Israel was created exactly 70 years ago as a haven for refugees from the Holocaust. But the mistreatment of those suffering from today’s atrocities is simply not in line with my Jewish values. O, corruption, inequality, and abuse of power.

My decision not to attend the Genesis Prize ceremony has been mischaracterized by others. Let me speak for myself. I chose not to attend because I did not want to appear as endorsing Benjamin Netanyahu, who was to be giving a speech at the ceremony. By the same token, I am not part of the BDS movement and do not endorse it. Like many Israelis and Jews around the world, I can be critical of the leadership in Israel without wanting to boycott the entire nation. I treasure my Israeli friends and family, Israeli food, books, art, cinema, and dance. Israel was created exactly 70 years ago as a haven for refugees from the Holocaust. But the mistreatment of those suffering from today’s atrocities is simply not in line with my Jewish values. Because I care about Israel, I must stand up against violence, corruption, inequality, and abuse of power. Please do not take any words that do not come directly from me as my own. This experience has inspired me to support a number of charities in Israel. I will be announcing them soon, and I hope others will join me in supporting the great work they are doing.

A post shared by Natalie Portman (@natalieportman) on

Related stories from TheWrap:

Israeli Politician Calls on Interior Minister to Revoke Natalie Portman's Citizenship

Natalie Portman Won't Accept Award in Israel Due to 'Extremely Distressing' Recent Events

'Annihilation' Film Review: Natalie Portman Anchors Woolly, Weird Sci-Fi Saga

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Israeli Politician Calls on Interior Minister to Revoke Natalie Portman’s Citizenship

An Israeli politician says Natalie Portman’s Israeli citizenship should be revoked after she said she wouldn’t travel to Israel this summer to accept the Genesis Prize.

“From the outset, the idea of granting the Genesis Prize to Natalie Portman was complete craziness,” Likud party member Oren Hazan said, according to the Israeli National News. “[She is] a Jewish Israeli, who on the one hand cynically uses her birthplace to advance her career and on the other is proud of the fact that she managed to avoid enlisting in the IDF. She’s an actress, but she is unworthy of any honor in the State of Israel.”

Hazan added: “Sweetness can come from strength: I call on Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) to rescind Portman’s Israeli citizenship. She left Israel at age four, and has no real connection to the State.”

Also Read: Natalie Portman Won’t Accept Award in Israel Due to ‘Extremely Distressing’ Recent Events

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.

“Recent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her and she does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel,” a representative for the “Annihilation” star told the Genesis Prize Foundation, which presents the award.

As a result, the June 28 ceremony in Jerusalem will be canceled entirely, the foundation said in a statement on Thursday, Haaretz reported.

Portman, who was born in Israel and has duel Israeli and American citizenship, did not specify which “recent events” were the catalyst for her decision, though she is not the first performer to cancel public appearances in Israel due to protests over the country’s ongoing conflict with Palestinians.

Also Read: Natalie Portman ‘Very Much’ Regrets Signing 2009 Petition to Free Roman Polanski

Last November, Portman was selected to receive the 2018 Genesis Prize, dubbed the “Jewish Nobel,” for her demonstration of “outstanding professional achievement and commitment to the Jewish people and Jewish values, such as social justice, tolerance and charity.” At the time, she committed to “re-gift” the $1 million in prize money to charities focused on advancing women’s equality.

Additionally, the Haaretz reported that Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev said, “I was very sorry to hear that Portman fell like a ripe fruit into the hands of BDS supporters. A Jewish actress, who was born in Israel, has joined those who see the miraculous success story of Israel’s creation as a ‘story of darkness.’”

Representatives for Portman have not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.

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‘Annihilation’ Film Review: Natalie Portman Anchors Woolly, Weird Sci-Fi Saga

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An Israeli politician says Natalie Portman’s Israeli citizenship should be revoked after she said she wouldn’t travel to Israel this summer to accept the Genesis Prize.

“From the outset, the idea of granting the Genesis Prize to Natalie Portman was complete craziness,” Likud party member Oren Hazan said, according to the Israeli National News. “[She is] a Jewish Israeli, who on the one hand cynically uses her birthplace to advance her career and on the other is proud of the fact that she managed to avoid enlisting in the IDF. She’s an actress, but she is unworthy of any honor in the State of Israel.”

Hazan added: “Sweetness can come from strength: I call on Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) to rescind Portman’s Israeli citizenship. She left Israel at age four, and has no real connection to the State.”

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.

“Recent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her and she does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel,” a representative for the “Annihilation” star told the Genesis Prize Foundation, which presents the award.

As a result, the June 28 ceremony in Jerusalem will be canceled entirely, the foundation said in a statement on Thursday, Haaretz reported.

Portman, who was born in Israel and has duel Israeli and American citizenship, did not specify which “recent events” were the catalyst for her decision, though she is not the first performer to cancel public appearances in Israel due to protests over the country’s ongoing conflict with Palestinians.

Last November, Portman was selected to receive the 2018 Genesis Prize, dubbed the “Jewish Nobel,” for her demonstration of “outstanding professional achievement and commitment to the Jewish people and Jewish values, such as social justice, tolerance and charity.” At the time, she committed to “re-gift” the $1 million in prize money to charities focused on advancing women’s equality.

Additionally, the Haaretz reported that Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev said, “I was very sorry to hear that Portman fell like a ripe fruit into the hands of BDS supporters. A Jewish actress, who was born in Israel, has joined those who see the miraculous success story of Israel’s creation as a ‘story of darkness.'”

Representatives for Portman have not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Annihilation' Film Review: Natalie Portman Anchors Woolly, Weird Sci-Fi Saga

Natalie Portman on 'Annihilation' Whitewashing Accusations: 'More Diversity in All Films' Needed

Meet Natalie Portman's Creepy 'My Little Stepchildren' Dolls in Cut for Time 'SNL' Skit (Video)

Natalie Portman Refuses to Visit Israel to Accept Award Because of ‘Extremely Distressing’ Events in the Country

The Israeli government is criticizing Portman for her decision, accusing the actress of betraying the Jewish state.

Natalie Portman has declined to accept the 2018 Genesis Prize in person. The award is a major honor in Israel and is given each year to an individual who has “attained excellence and international renown in their chosen professional field” and “embodies the character of the Jewish people.” The award was intended to be given to Portman at a ceremony in June, but the Genesis Foundation cancelled the event after Portman’s representative told them she wouldn’t be traveling to Israel.

“Recent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her and she does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel,” said Portman’s representative, adding that the actress “cannot in good conscience move forward with the ceremony.”

The Genesis Foundation responded to Portman with a statement that reads: “Ms. Portman is a highly accomplished actress, a committed social activist and a wonderful human being. The staff of the Foundation enjoyed getting to know her over the past six months, admires her humanity, and respects her right to publicly disagree with the policies of the government of Israel.”

The foundation added that it’s “very saddened” Portman has decided not to attend the Genesis Prize Ceremony in Jerusalem for political reasons. Portman was born in Jerusalem and was announced as the award recipient last November.

“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.

While Portman’s representative did not get into the specifics about what exactly is “distressing” the Oscar winner, many outlets have reported that Portman’s decision was a reaction to Israel’s use of lethal force against protestors participating in Gaza’s Great Return March for Freedom. The Israeli military used sniper fire to kill unarmed protestors in the region. IndieWire has reached out to Portman’s team for further comment.

While the Genesis Foundation is understanding of Portman’s decision, certain members of the Israeli government or not. Culture minister Miri Regev is criticizing the actress for refusing to visit the country and accept the prize.

“Natalie, a Jewish actress who was born in Israel, joins those who relate to the story of the success and the wondrous rebirth of Israel as a story of darkness,” Regev said.

Portman is still expected to receive the $2 million prize that comes with winning the award. The actress plans to donate the money to Israeli and international women’s charities.

Natalie Portman Criticized By Israeli Government For Pulling Out Of Awards Ceremony

Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev has denounced Natalie Portman’s decision not to come to Israel to receive an award by the Genesis Prize Foundation.
Regev said Portman had “fallen into the hands” of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campai…

Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev has denounced Natalie Portman’s decision not to come to Israel to receive an award by the Genesis Prize Foundation. Regev said Portman had "fallen into the hands" of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign that aims to isolate the Jewish state. “Portman, a Jewish actress born in Israel, joins those who tell the successful, wondrous founding of the State of Israel as ‘a tale of darkness and darkness, he said. Regev’s reference was…

Natalie Portman Pulls Out of Prestigious Awards Ceremony in Israel

Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman has pulled out of a prestigious Jerusalem awards ceremony, citing “distress” at recent events in Israel and saying through a representative that she is uncomfortable with travel to Israel at this time. Portman, a d…

Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman has pulled out of a prestigious Jerusalem awards ceremony, citing “distress” at recent events in Israel and saying through a representative that she is uncomfortable with travel to Israel at this time. Portman, a dual Israeli-American citizen, was born in Jerusalem and is beloved by the Israeli public. She was due […]

Natalie Portman Won’t Accept Award in Israel Due to ‘Extremely Distressing’ Recent Events

Natalie 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.”

“Recent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her and she does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel,” a representative for the “Annihilation” star told the Genesis Prize Foundation, which presents the award.

As a result, the June 28 ceremony in Jerusalem will be canceled entirely, the foundation said in a statement on Thursday.

Also Read: Natalie Portman ‘Very Much’ Regrets Signing 2009 Petition to Free Roman Polanski

“We are very saddened that she has decided not to attend the Genesis Prize Ceremony in Jerusalem for political reasons,” the statement said. “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.”

Portman, who was born in Israel and has duel Israeli and American citizenship, did not specify which “recent events” were the catalyst for her decision, though she is not the first performer to cancel public appearances in Israel due to protests over the country’s ongoing conflict with Palestinians.

Last November, Portman was selected to receive the 2018 Genesis Prize, dubbed the “Jewish Nobel,” for her demonstration of “outstanding professional achievement and commitment to the Jewish people and Jewish values, such as social justice, tolerance and charity.” At the time, she committed to “re-gift” the $1 million in prize money to charities focused on advancing women’s equality.

Also Read: Natalie Portman on ‘Annihilation’ Whitewashing Accusations: ‘More Diversity in All Films’ Needed

“The mission of the Genesis Prize is to create a space where we can cast politics aside and come together to appreciate Jewish accomplishments that continue to contribute so much to human civilization; to contemplate Jewish identity and values and what they mean in the 21st century; to strengthen the bond between the State of Israel and the Jewish Diaspora; and to celebrate pride in being Jewish, and – especially in this 70th anniversary year – in the State of Israel,” the Genesis Prize Foundation statement continued. “We are disappointed that this year we will not be able to fulfill this mission in full.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Annihilation’ Film Review: Natalie Portman Anchors Woolly, Weird Sci-Fi Saga

Natalie Portman ‘Very Much’ Regrets Signing 2009 Petition to Free Roman Polanski

Natalie Portman on ‘Annihilation’ Whitewashing Accusations: ‘More Diversity in All Films’ Needed

Natalie 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.”

“Recent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her and she does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel,” a representative for the “Annihilation” star told the Genesis Prize Foundation, which presents the award.

As a result, the June 28 ceremony in Jerusalem will be canceled entirely, the foundation said in a statement on Thursday.

“We are very saddened that she has decided not to attend the Genesis Prize Ceremony in Jerusalem for political reasons,” the statement said. “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.”

Portman, who was born in Israel and has duel Israeli and American citizenship, did not specify which “recent events” were the catalyst for her decision, though she is not the first performer to cancel public appearances in Israel due to protests over the country’s ongoing conflict with Palestinians.

Last November, Portman was selected to receive the 2018 Genesis Prize, dubbed the “Jewish Nobel,” for her demonstration of “outstanding professional achievement and commitment to the Jewish people and Jewish values, such as social justice, tolerance and charity.” At the time, she committed to “re-gift” the $1 million in prize money to charities focused on advancing women’s equality.

“The mission of the Genesis Prize is to create a space where we can cast politics aside and come together to appreciate Jewish accomplishments that continue to contribute so much to human civilization; to contemplate Jewish identity and values and what they mean in the 21st century; to strengthen the bond between the State of Israel and the Jewish Diaspora; and to celebrate pride in being Jewish, and – especially in this 70th anniversary year – in the State of Israel,” the Genesis Prize Foundation statement continued. “We are disappointed that this year we will not be able to fulfill this mission in full.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Annihilation' Film Review: Natalie Portman Anchors Woolly, Weird Sci-Fi Saga

Natalie Portman 'Very Much' Regrets Signing 2009 Petition to Free Roman Polanski

Natalie Portman on 'Annihilation' Whitewashing Accusations: 'More Diversity in All Films' Needed

Film News Roundup: Natalie Portman’s ‘Annihilation’ Gets Theatrical Release in China

In today’s film news roundup, “Annihilation” gets a China release, “Unbroken: Path to Redemption” is set for October and Holliday Granger teams with Alia Shawkat in “Animals.” DISTRIBUTION AGREEMENTS Skydance Media has reached an agreement with Vision Film Entertainment to distribute Natalie Portman’s science-fiction thriller “Annihilation” in China in April. Skydance Media controls the China […]

In today’s film news roundup, “Annihilation” gets a China release, “Unbroken: Path to Redemption” is set for October and Holliday Granger teams with Alia Shawkat in “Animals.” DISTRIBUTION AGREEMENTS Skydance Media has reached an agreement with Vision Film Entertainment to distribute Natalie Portman’s science-fiction thriller “Annihilation” in China in April. Skydance Media controls the China […]