Portman, who was born in Jerusalem, was due to be awarded the “Jewish Nobel” but has since pulled out of the June awards ceremony.
Her decision has sparked outrage from the Israeli government, but more than anything else there are now some fears that the tide could start to turn against Israel in the United States.
Portman is not the only prominent figure who has protested the recent developments in Israel.
“Natalie Portman’s cancellation should be a warning sign,” read a tweet by Azaria this week.
“She’s totally one of us, identifies with her Jewishness and Israeliness. She’s expressing the voices of many in US Jewry, and particularly those of the younger generation. This is a community that was always a significant anchor for the State of Israel and the price of losing it is likely to be too high,” added Azaria.
The Genesis Prize Foundation has been left with no choice but to cancel the 2018 ceremony, which is distressful in itself. However, the bigger fear is that a philanthropic initiative was now being heavily politicised.
“Ms. Portman is a highly accomplished actress, a committed social activist and a wonderful human being,” read a statement by the foundation this week.
“The staff of the Foundation enjoyed getting to know her over the past six months, admires her humanity, and respects her right to publicly disagree with the policies of the government of Israel. However, we are very saddened that she has decided not to attend the Genesis Prize Ceremony in Jerusalem for political reasons. 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,” continued the statement.