Natalie Portman addresses snub of 'Jewish Nobel,' backlash
Actress Natalie Portman has snubbed a prestigious prize known as the "Jewish Nobel," saying she did not want her attendance to be seen as an endorsement of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Portman was to have received the award in Israel in June and said in a statement issued early Saturday that her reasons for skipping the ceremony had been mischaracterized by others, and she is not part of the BDS, a Palestinian-led global movement of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel....
"Let me speak for myself. 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," she wrote.
"Like many Israelis and Jews around the world, I can be critical of the leadership in Israel without wanting to boycott the entire nation. I treasure my Israeli friends and family, Israeli food, books, art, cinema, and dance.'"
She asked people to "not take any words that do not come directly from me as my own."
Israel faces some international criticism over its use of lethal force in response to mass protests along the Gaza border led by the Islamic militant group that rules the territory.
One Israeli lawmaker warned that Portman's decision is a sign of eroding support for Israel among young American Jews.
The Jerusalem-born Portman is a dual Israeli-American citizen. The Oscar-winning actress moved to the United States as a young girl, evolving from a child actress into a widely acclaimed A-list star. Portman received the 2011 best actress Academy Award for "Black Swan," and, in 2015, she directed and starred in "Tale of Love and Darkness," a Hebrew-language film set in Israel based on an Amos Oz novel. Her success is a great source of pride for many Israelis....
Since March 30, more than three dozen Palestinians have been killed by Israeli army fire, most of them in protests on the Gaza-Israeli border. Hundreds more have been wounded by Israeli troops during this time....