The actress referred to “recent events in Israel”in her statement declining the award. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
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U.S. actress Natalie Portman's decision to snub a June ceremony in Israel where she was to have received a prize dubbed the "Jewish Nobel" triggered an angry backlash Friday from some Israeli politicians, including the culture minister.Israel has faced international criticism over its response to recent mass marches on the Gaza border, in which 37 Palestinians were killed by Israeli army fire, most of them protesters.Rachel Azaria, from the centrist Kulanu party, warned that Portman's decision to stay away is a sign of eroding support for Israel among young American Jews.When Portman was announced late last year as the 2018 recipient, she said in a statement released by organizers that she was "proud of my Israeli roots and Jewish heritage".
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