Culture Minister Miri Regev: Natalie Portman succumbed to BDS

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Its statement did not refer to specific events that would have prompted Portman's decision.

The backlash comes after Portman chose to cancel a trip to Israel to accept an award from the Genesis Prize Foundation, presumably due to the tense situation between Palestinian civilians and Israeli soldiers on the Gaza security border.

The foundation said it worries that Portman declining to attend the ceremony will have a negative outcome.

Following her announcement that she was no longer attending the event, the Genesis Foundation expressed that they were "very saddened" over her decision and that they would cancel the June 28 ceremony.

When asked on the matter, the representative for Portman did not respond back for any comment.

Portman, who was born in Jerusalem, will not travel to Israel in June to receive the Genesis Prize, sometimes referred to as "The Jewish Nobel".

Portman was announced as the 2018 laureate in November for a prize that "honors individuals who serve as an inspiration to the next generation of Jews through their outstanding professional achievement along with their commitment to Jewish values and the Jewish people".

In the year 2015, the actress told The Hollywood Reporter that she disagreed with the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netan's policies by saying that she is very much against Netanyahu and is very upset and disappointed that he was re-elected.

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"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.

When Portman was announced late a year ago as the 2018 recipient, she said in a statement released by organizers at the time that she was "proud of my Israeli roots and Jewish heritage".

"The idea of awarding the Genesis Prize to Natalie Portman was a bad idea from the outset".

They went on to say that they feared Portman's choice would "trigger our philanthropic initiative to be politicised".

"I was sorry to hear that Natalie Portman has fallen like ripe fruit to the hands of BDS supporters", Regev said in a statement given to Israeli journalists.

"In addition to honoring Ms. Portman, the ceremony in Jerusalem was meant 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 prize money will be distributed by the Genesis Prize Foundation, not by Ms. Portman".

Held yearly in Jerusalem, actor Michael Douglas, sculptor Anish Kapoor and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg have all obtained the award since 2014. According to Haaretz, Israeli philanthropist Morris Kahn promised to double Portman's $1 million grant, bringing the total prize money to $2 million, on condition that it also be "re-gifted" to charities, as is customary with recipients of the award. However, the foundation did say she meant to donate her prize to women's equality and empowerment groups.

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