Natalie Portman Lied About Genesis Prize Pullout; Really Did Blame Israel For Gaza Deaths

A few days ago, when Natalie Portman’s rep told the press their client was pulling out of the Genesis Prize and would not be attending the ceremony in Israel, this is how they communicated it:

“[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.”

At the time, I believed she was reacting to Israel’s response to the recent Gaza riots.

This is hugely disappointing. Portman seems to have bought in to the lie that the Gaza “March of Return” riots were peaceful protests. She also seems to have ignored the facts that almost all of those killed were terrorists or affiliated with terrorist organizations, and that organizers have gone out of their way to use human shields, including children.

But a day later, and Portman herself wanted to dispel such talk, preferring instead to blame it on Israeli PM Netanyahu.

My decision not to attend the Genesis Prize ceremony has been mischaracterized by others. Let me speak for myself. I chose not to attend because I did not want to appear as endorsing Benjamin Netanyahu, who was to be giving a speech at the ceremony. By the same token, I am not part of the BDS movement and do not endorse it. Like many Israelis and Jews around the world, I can be critical of the leadership in Israel without wanting to boycott the entire nation. I treasure my Israeli friends and family, Israeli food, books, art, cinema, and dance. Israel was created exactly 70 years ago as a haven for refugees from the Holocaust. But the mistreatment of those suffering from today’s atrocities is simply not in line with my Jewish values. Because I care about Israel, I must stand up against violence, corruption, inequality, and abuse of power.
Please do not take any words that do not come directly from me as my own.
This experience has inspired me to support a number of charities in Israel. I will be announcing them soon, and I hope others will join me in supporting the great work they are doing.

Now it turns out Portman was lying, at least according to Israeli journalist Amit Segal, who claims to have seen email correspondence between Portman and the Genesis Prize Foundation.


Amit Segal: Natalie Portman claimed she cancelled because of Netanyahu and not because of Israel’s actions in Gaza. Well, from the emails sent by her people. Here is the e-mail correspondence from 2.4 between her people and the Genesis people. There is no Netanyahu and there is Gaza.

Mail from Natalie Portman’s rep 2.4.18: “We have been following the news from Gaza with growing concern and we are worried that it won’t be appropriate to hold the ceremony given the government’s actions and the latest escalation.”

Response from Genesis Prize Foundation 2.4.18: “Regarding cancelling the ceremony, we have no plan to discuss that. The events in Gaza are the results of planned actions by Hamas, that are meant to sacrifice civilians for political benefit. Cancelling the ceremony of this most prestigious Jewish prize in the world will play into the hands of Hamas and will be a slap in the face of the nation in Israel.”

Translation: In her statement, Portman wrote that the reasons for the cancellation were Netanyahu; the refugees; corruption; inequality; violence.

In the email, only Gaza and the escalation being Israel’s fault.
And yes, I have the full correspondence

If true – and I have no reason to doubt Amit Segal – Portman has proven herself to be a coward, on top of being ignorant.


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

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