Natalie Portman publicly said she will not be traveling to Israel to collect her Genesis Prize Foundation award. This caused Miri Regev, Israel’s Culture Minister to denounce the Hollywood actress’ decision to boycott the event. According to Regev, Portman is involved with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel.

No trip to Israel for Jerusalem-born Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem but said she would not travel to the awards ceremony due to “recent events” in Israel. Initially, Portman was not specific over the events in question.

However, the EU and UN recently demanded investigations into the fact that Israel’s military used live ammunition during Gaza clashes and protests. This has led to dozens being killed and hundreds of Palestinians wounded.

Portman delivers official statement about her choice not to attend

As noted by People, Portman later went on to make an official statement about her decision not to collect Israel’s version of an Oscar award. She said her decision had been “mischaracterized” and went on to say she wants to speak for herself. Natalie said she chose not to attend the ceremony, as she does not want to look like she is endorsing Benjamin Netanyahu, who will deliver a speech at the event.

However, Portman went on to deny Regev’s claim that she is involved in the BDS movement and said she does not endorse it.

She also said that, as with Jews and Israelis worldwide, she is entitled to criticize the leadership in Israel. According to Portman, while Israel was a haven for Holocaust refugees 70 years ago, the mistreatment and suffering of people from the current atrocities are not in line with her Jewish values.

Portland said she cares about Israel and that she must stand against corruption, violence, abuse of power and inequality.

She warned people not to take comments that are not directly from her mouth as being her own.

Deadline reports that Oren Hazan, part of Israel’s Kikud party, has also condemned Portman’s decision not to collect the award and went on to demand that Israeli officials revoke the actress’s Israeli citizenship.

Actress originally agreed to accept the $2 million award

Sometimes called the Jewish Nobel prize, Portman initially did agree to accept it at an event in June. However, after Portman’s statement, the Genesis Prize Foundation went on to cancel the awards ceremony.

In their statement, the foundation said that the actress’s decision would lead to their “philanthropic initiative” being politicized. They went on to state that they have worked for the last five years to avoid this happening.