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Natalie Portman Breaks Silence After Declining to Accept Award in Israel

Natalie Portman Breaks Silence After Declining to Accept Award in Israel

Natalie Portman is speaking out following her decision to not travel to Israel to accept the Genesis Prize.

Following the 36-year-old actress’ decision, the award ceremony was cancelled and a representative for Natalie was quoted saying that “recent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her” and that “she cannot in good conscience move forward with the ceremony.”

Now Natalie is speaking out to say that her decision has “mischaracterized 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. By the same token, I am not part of the BDS movement and do not endorse it,” Natalie said, referring to the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions group that protests Israel over its treatment of Palestinians and the West Bank.

Natalie added that she now plans to donate to multiple Israeli charities that she will announce soon.

Click inside to read Natalie’s entire statement…

“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.”

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Photos: Getty
Posted to: Natalie Portman

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  • j.

    She’s donating to isreali charities? How is that not choosing the side of those inherently more privileged and fortunate than the ones on the opposite side of the border? Jesus

  • j.

    She’s donating to isreali charities? How is that not choosing the side of those inherently more privileged and fortunate than the ones on the opposite side of the border? Jesus

  • DEADP00L

    I totally agree with her about Natanyahu. I’m more in line with Jewish activists supporting BDS though, but she’s within her right to support the struggle however she sees fit. Supporting BDS isn’t going against Israelis though.

    Supporting the boycott of South Africa didn’t go against the people of South Africa anymore than boycotting the Olympics was against black folks when MLK called for their boycott to fight Jim Crow.

    My family lived through fighting Apartheid South Africa, we marched against Jim Crow and we were very much behind our Rabbi who organized our protests; so I know that boycotts are one of the more effective and peaceful means of fighting injustice and a system that is completely opposite to what I would ever want done to me and my family.

    Natalie Portman is being diplomatic and after members of the Knesset threatened her with taking away her citizenship, I am not surprised that she could never support BDS even if she wanted to. Like the lady said, if it doesn’t come out of her own mouth, then no one has a right to speak for her or in her name.

    I am glad she refuses to cater to the demagogue and that in itself is a HUGE risk. You guys have no idea what he does to Israeli activists now, its so bad. It’s McCarthy type bad, so much so Israelis are being followed to their homes and beaten by his thugs now. That’s not even mentioning what he does to Africans and Palestinians.

    His tyranny knows no limits anymore. I can’t believe our parents have done this to us, they catered to this man and his zealots and now its up to us to fight him when it should have been them this entire time.

    I think we all have an obligation to stand up now, however we choose. Whether its BDS or something else, just stand up and do so with not just Israelis but with Palestinians. And most important of all, don’t let Natanyahu’s thugs try to even threaten you much less try to shame you. He is a pharaoh who keeps us all in chains.

    As many people have been saying lately ” Its time we had our own Passover for the modern age.” I am totally up for it. I support BDS; but anyone willing to support groups like Beit Selem, We are Sumud, or Rabbis for Human Rights, or any Israeli NGO’s GO FOR IT.

    Palestinians are our moral compass now. So long as they are not free, neither are we.

  • Ausangel01

    Her message is confusing, she refuses an award due to Politics, but doesn’t support BDS, even though her views are closer to their values. And of course any Charity will accept a donation and be grateful, but its sad that it feels disingenuous on her part.

  • Victor Rousso

    Hello Natalie Portman, The Wicked Witch of the West

    In every generation there are Jews who take advantage of the opportunities only available in free society. Once wealth and fame are obtained, existence called “Jewish Values” allow you to insult everyone who do not have the same Progressive Views. Your Jewish values began to turn Progressive when you changed your name from Hershlag to Protman and reached the ultimate height when you insulted Israel this year deciding not to attend the Genesis Prize Ceremony in Jerusalem for political reasons.

    The Genesis Prize is given to those who are considered an inspiration to the future generation of Jews through their commitment to Jewish values, social justice, tolerance and charity, according to the Foundation’s website. Your actions motivated meet believe that you could not honestly accept this award.

    You have stated that you do not support the BDS movement, however, your refusal to to attend does much more than support the BDS boycott movement . You have becoming a new poster girl for the BDS boycott movement, the anti-Zionist left and a treacherous Jew effecting Israel’s relations in the world. /It would be difficult that you and your followers are incapable to understand the consequences of your actions. However, with my 89 years of living in primarily Jewish communities in the USA, I have seen Jewish Progressive values destructive effect too many times.

    I hope the Israeli government will learn from your actions how impossible it will be to develop co-exsistance with famous Progresses who’s parents happen to be Jewish.