Natalie Portman cancels Israel trip due to 'recent events'

The Genesis Prize Foundation, which named the Israeli-born actress as the recipient of the Genesis award, was notified by a representative of the actress that "recent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her" and that she will not be coming to Israel for the ceremony.
Portman at the 2009 Toronto Film Festival Photo credit: Gordon Correll, Flickr

Israeli-born American actress Natalie Portman has cancelled her planned trip to Israel for an award ceremony due to "recent events."

"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 of Portman said.

Portman was named in November as the recipient of the 2018 Genesis Award for her "contribution to the Jewish community and the Jewish values." The Genesis Prize Foundation has chosen to cancel the ceremony following Portman's decision.

"Ms. Portman is a highly accomplished actress, a committed social activist and a wonderful human being," the foundation said in a statement. "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. 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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