While Portman, born in Jerusalem, was initially proud to accept the prize when she was announced as the winner last year, she decided not to attend the upcoming June awards ceremony in Israel because of recent events in the country.
The Genesis Prize Foundation said Portman’s representative told them that she “does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel. Recent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her… She cannot in good conscience move forward with the ceremony.”
The Foundation, whose prize was launched in 2013, said it was “very saddened” by Portman’s choice, adding, “We fear that Ms. Portman’s decision will cause our philanthropic initiative to be politicized, something we have worked hard for the past five years to avoid.”
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