“From the outset, the idea of granting the Genesis Prize to Natalie Portman was complete craziness,” Member of Knesset (MK) Oren Hazan said, as cited by Arutz Sheva. “She's an actress, but she is unworthy of any honor in the State of Israel."
He called Portman a Jewish Israeli who “cynically uses her birthplace to advance her career” while expressing pride in the fact that she never served in the Israeli military.
"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," added Hazan, a member of the ruling Likud party.
Portman declined an invitation to collect the Genesis Prize following unspecified “recent events” that she found “extremely distressing.” The actress added that she “does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel” and “cannot in good conscience move forward with the ceremony,” according to a statement published online by the Genesis Foundation. The ceremony was scheduled to take place on June 28 but has now been cancelled entirely as a result of Portman's withdrawal.
“In addition to honoring Ms. Portman, the ceremony in Jerusalem was intended to highlight the work of women’s rights NGOs working on women’s equality and empowerment issues,” the Foundation said, in the statement published Friday.
“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. However, 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.”
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