The foundation says it was told by a representative for Portman that, "Recent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her and she does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel".
"In addition to honoring Ms. Portman, the ceremony in Jerusalem was meant to highlight the work of women's rights NGOs working on women's equality and empowerment issues", the Foundation said, in the statement published Friday. The recent events in question are most certainly the protests on the Israel-Gaza border, which, in the past three weeks, has seen more than 35 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces. The Genesis foundation said it was "very saddened" by Portman's decision.
Portman, who was born in Jerusalem and moved to the USA with her family as a toddler, pointedly denounced Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and said she did not want to appear with him at the gala to accept the award.
Portman clarified that she does not support the BDS movement or other boycotts against Israel.
When Portman, who was born in Jerusalem and holds dual Israeli and United States citizenship, was announced as the 2018 recipient late past year she said was "proud of my Israeli roots and Jewish heritage".
Recipients contribute their winnings to causes of their choice, and Portman has said she meant to dedicate the money to programmes advancing women's equality.
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As a result, the June 28 ceremony in Jerusalem will be canceled entirely, the foundation said in a statement on Thursday, Haaretz reported.
However, in a statement obtained by people.com, the actress says her decision "not to attend the Genesis Prize ceremony has been mischaracterised by others".
"I treasure my Israeli friends and family, Israeli food, books, art, cinema, and dance", she said.
Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev accused Portman of subscribing to the ideology of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement that promotes sanctions on the Jewish state.
"Israel was created exactly 70 years ago as a haven for refugees from the Holocaust", she said. But the mis treatment of the experiencing rsquo & today;s atrocities is not consistent line with my values. "O, corruption, inequality, and abuse of power".
Held yearly in Jerusalem, actor Michael Douglas, sculptor Anish Kapoor and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg have all obtained the award since 2014. "We dread that Ms. Portman's determination would make our philanthropic initiative to be politicized, some thing we have worked hard for the last five years to avert", it stated.