Jerusalem (Web Desk): The Genesis Prize Foundation has cancelled its award ceremony in Israel after Hollywood star Natalie Portman denied to attend the event, saying she ‘cannot in good conscience’ attend ceremony.
Israel has been criticized for its response to mass protests on the Gaza-Israel border, in which 28 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds wounded by Israeli fire since March 30.
The Genesis Prize Foundation was set to honour the Israeli-American Hollywood star but announced on Thursday that her last-minute decision to not attend had let the organisers no choice but to cancel the ceremony.
A spokesperson for Portman claimed that the “recent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her and she does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel.”
The representative quoted Portman and said that she “cannot in good conscience move forward with the ceremony.”
On the other hand, Israel's Minister of Culture & Sport Miri Regev has denounced Natalie Portman's decision to decline the award.
"I was saddened to hear that Natalie Portman has fallen as a ripe fruit in the hands of BDS supporters," stated Regev associating her act with the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel.
The Genesis Prize Foundation, which annually honors individuals for “Jewish achievement and contributions to humanity,” announced in November that Portman, known for her roles in films such Black Swan and the Star Wars prequels, was selected as its 2018 laureate.
Portman moved to the United States as a child but was born in Israel. She still has strong ties to the country, her 2015 film, “A Tale of Love and Darkness,” is set in Israel.