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Natalie Portman Denounced by Israeli Government Over Decision Not to Attend Awards

• by David Caspi

Israel's minister for culture and sports has denounced Natalie Portman's decision to decline an award in her homeland of Israel over politics.

"I was saddened to hear that Natalie Portman has fallen as a ripe fruit in the hands of BDS supporters," stated Miri Regev, associating the actress' act with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. "Natalie, a Jewish actress who was born in Israel, now joins those who refer to the success and wonder of the rebirth of Israel as 'a tale of darkness.'"

Regev's reference was to the Oscar winner's 2015 directorial feature debut A Tale of Love and Darkness, an adaptation of the autobiographical novel by Israeli author Amos Oz that was shot in Jerusalem.

Portman was due to collect the Genesis Prize but pulled out Thursday, with a rep telling event organizers that "[r]ecent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her and she does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel" and that "she cannot in good conscience move forward with the ceremony."

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