April 21, 2018
Actress Natalie Portman, who cancelled a planned trip to
receive a prestigious Israeli award after a government official in the country
slammed her, says she doesn't want to endorse Israel Prime Minister Benjamin
The Oscar-winning actress, 36, was announced as the honoree of the Genesis Prize Laureate, the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in Israel in November.
According to reports, the move to skip the ceremony in June, was believed to have been in part due to Israel's recent deadly shooting of Palestinian protesters along the Gaza border.
However, in a statement obtained by people.com, the actress says her decision "not to attend the Genesis Prize ceremony has been mischaracterised by others".
"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," she saidm adding: "I am not part of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement and do not endorse it."
The Oscar winning actress said that 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," she wrote.
Portman said because she cares about Israel, "I must stand up against violence, corruption, inequality, and abuse of power."
She said she is inspired to support a number of charities in Israel, and she will be announcing them soon.
"I hope others will join me in supporting the great work they are doing," added Portman.
The actress shared the statement on her Instagram account on Friday.