The Israeli-born Oscar-winning actress stated that she chose to pull out of an award show in Israel because she did not want to appear as endorsing PM Benjamin Netanyahu.

Portman at the 2009 Toronto Film Festival

Portman at the 2009 Toronto Film Festival Photo credit: Gordon Correll, Flickr

Israeli-born US actress Natalie Portman explained her decision not to attend an award ceremony in Israel, saying she did not want to be seen as supporting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Following reports that the Oscar-winning actress had cancelled her appearance at the Genesis Award ceremony in Jerusalem due to “recent events,” some accused her of supporting a boycott of Israel, a claim she vehemently rejected.

“My decision not to attend the Genesis Prize ceremony has been mischaracterized by others. Let me speak for myself,” Portman wrote on her Instagram page. “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,” she added. “Like many Israelis and Jews around the world, I can be critical of the leadership in Israel without wanting to boycott the entire nation.”

Portman concluded by stating she will be donating money to a number of Israeli charities, which she did not name.

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.