Report: Portman told Genesis Prize she was canceling over Gaza, not Netanyahu

Actress Natalie Portman’s representatives originally informed the Genesis Prize Foundation she would not attend the award ceremony over recent events in Gaza — not over her criticism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to Hadashot news, which obtained copies of correspondence.

The TV report quotes emails by Portman’s representatives expressing concerns over recent violence in Gaza, saying it would therefore be inappropriate for the Israel-born actress to attend the “Jewish Nobel” award ceremony.

The Genesis Prize Foundation responded by telling her the border clashes were being orchestrated by the Hamas terrorist group. Canceling the ceremony would serve Hamas and be a “slap in the face” to the Jewish people, they wrote.

On Thursday, the Genesis Prize Foundation, which awards what it calls the “Jewish Nobel,” said it was “very saddened” that the Jerusalem-born, Israeli-American actress would not take part in the ceremony. The foundation said that Portman’s representative notified it that “[r]ecent 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.”

Portman later wrote that she did not want her attendance to be seen as an endorsement of Netanyahu.

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