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Widespread Criticism Mounts Against Natalie Portman Over Snub of Israel’s $2M Genesis Prize

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Isreali born Hollywood star Natalie Portman will snub her homeland by refusing to show up at the prestigious Genesis Prize Foundation ceremony to receive her award in a politically motivated decision, mainly her disapproval of Benjamin Netanyahu.

MK Oren Hazan (Likud) slammed Israeli-American actress Natalie Portman and recommended resending her citizenship, INN New reported.

Hollywood Star Natalie Portman took politics over patriotism in her decision to skip the prestigious Genesis Prize ceremony for which she was the recipient of a $2 Million award

Hazan said: “From the outset, the idea of granting the Genesis Prize to Natalie Portman was complete craziness,” Hazan said. “She is a Jewish Israeli, who on the one hand cynically uses her birthplace to advance her career and on the other is proud of the fact that she managed to avoid enlisting in the IDF. She’s an actress, but she is unworthy of any honor in the State of Israel. Sweetness can come from strength.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.”

Cultlture and Sport Minister Miri Regev (Likud) was also disgusted with Portman’s decision and said “ A Jewish actress, who was born in Israel, has joined those who see the miraculous success story of Israel’s creation as a ‘story of darkness.”

The Genesis $1 million award is given annually to Jewish people who have attained recognition and excellence in their fields. The prize was founded with the objective of inspiring and developing a sense of pride and belonging among young unaffiliated Jews throughout the world, according to the Genesis Prize Foundation. The award is sometimes referred to as the “Jewish Nobel”.

After several days of speculation by media pundits as to whether or not Portman decided to join the radical “Boycott, Divest, Sanctions” movement, the thespian posted on her Instagram account on Friday night her reasoning by stating: “I chose not to attend because I did not want to appear as endorsing Benjamin Netanyahu, by the same token, I am not part of the BDS movement and do not endorse it”. Netanyahu was going to speak at the ceremony.

Portman also wrote in her statement: “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 continued by stating: “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.”

Apparently, Portman is snubbing the ceremony because of Netanyahu’s handling of the African refuge situation. Her statement is still quite vague and open to interpretation and one can speculate as to what “atrocities” Portman was referring to.

Israeli journalist Ben-Dror Yemini wrote an op-ed published over the weekend in Yedioth Ahronoth (Ynet) which clearly explains Portman’s flawed thinking: “Countries like Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, and definitely in the United States have been making decision on refugees and asylum seekers. The decisions generate criticism and a public debate, as well as judicial decisions. But no one has chosen to boycott those countries, or ceremonies that are held in those countries, or the leaders of those countries, because of controversial decisions”

One must really consider that her motives can be deeper than her disapproval over a refuge issue. The Genesis award is very prestigious, and she would be among other recipients such as Michael R. Bloomberg, Michael Douglas, Itzhak Perlman and Anish Kapoor. The entire ceremony has now been cancelled.

Last November, the Genesis Prize Foundation announced that Portman was the 2018 Genesis Prize Laureate, and that she would donate the $1 million Genesis Prize Award to philanthropic programs focused on women’s equality, education, economic advancement, health, and political participation. A month after the announcement, Israeli philanthropist Morris Kahn pledged another $1 million in Portman’s honor, bringing the total gift to $2 million.

In the wake of Portman’s decision, the Genesis Prize Foundation said it would distribute the $2 million to women’s rights groups, but not those of Portman’s choosing, Washington Times reported.

By: Jared Evan

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