Natalie Portman Addresses Canceled Israel Trip: ‘I Must Stand Up Against Violence’

One politician suggested Portman’s citizenship should be revoked over her decision

Last Updated: April 20, 2018 @ 4:27 PM

Natalie Portman has spoken out about political unrest surrounding her Israeli citizenship and a canceled trip to the country.

“My decision not to attend … has been mischaracterized by others. Let me speak for myself,” Portman wrote on Instagram on Friday.

The “Black Swan” star canceled a scheduled June appearance on Thursday over recent events she found “extremely distressing,” and says she no longer felt comfortable taking a recognition from Israel’s Genesis Prize Foundation.

“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 [Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions ] movement and do not endorse it. 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 wrote.

Likud party member Oren Hazan challenged the star’s move, reported the Israeli National News.

“[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,” Hazan said.

Hazan added: “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.”

While Portman did not address the politician by name, she concluded her post by saying, “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. O, corruption, inequality, and abuse of power.”

Read her full remarks:

My decision not to attend the Genesis Prize ceremony has been mischaracterized by others. 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. By the same token, I am not part of the BDS movement and do not endorse it. 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. 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. O, corruption, inequality, and abuse of power.

My decision not to attend the Genesis Prize ceremony has been mischaracterized by others. 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. By the same token, I am not part of the BDS movement and do not endorse it. 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. 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. Please do not take any words that do not come directly from me as my own. This experience has inspired me to support a number of charities in Israel. I will be announcing them soon, and I hope others will join me in supporting the great work they are doing.

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