'Start Here' podcast: Natalie Portman declines award, blames Benjamin Netanyahu

Actress Natalie Portman takes a political stand and turns down a major award in her home country of Israel. ABC News' Brad Mielke reports.
3:15 | 04/23/18

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Transcript for 'Start Here' podcast: Natalie Portman declines award, blames Benjamin Netanyahu
For the past couple weeks have been previewing a new production here at ABC news called the start here podcasts is where ABC's Brad Melky gives listeners in depth perspective on the day's top stories. So if you want to go deeper on many of the stories that we report to you. You should subscribe to start here and Brad can kind of walk you through the news as you hop in the car and on the train or while doing your chores around the house and I like well good. And we've pulled Brad. Fifth podcasting dad British. His glare as we close let's regularly read that kick you in studio with us grounding you for joining if you think you've got an eleven. I'm so tell us what he can get up for the next upside. Well here's a thing would you guys believe. But Natalie Portman caused a major flashpoint in Israel over the weekend because there's an award that's given out to a prominent Jewish person every year who has done great things this year it went to Natalie Portman. But this weekend she turned it down saying she would not fly to Israel and be seen with climate. That minister Benjamin Netanyahu so I spoke to ABC's Joseph Donna Miller she's based in Jerusalem. As she said Pratt Lowe. This set off a firestorm. Now we Portman is you know one of the least likely people than anyone could call. You know an anti semi eight or a supporter of EDS the boycott movement or anti Israeli mean it's ludicrous and yet. After she pulled out of this ceremony. You know one of Israeli prime minister Netanyahu is closest advisors. Said that this borders on an anti semitism because he sees it as. That she's boycotting Israel. Now some in Israel are applauding her decision and Corbett says she's not even calling for boycotts over sanctions. But in a statement she says certain atrocities are quote. Not in line. With my Jewish values as interesting and so how did this become such a big deal well the sanctions in Israel this huge flashpoint for the entire country it says that we don't like Israel that we don't like what you stand for. But in this case Giordano was telling me that. It's an especially important deal because sanctions often hijacked by actual anti Semitic groups and that's why this move by Portman was seen as this kind of anti Semitic blue mountain. Natalie was born in Israel. She says that she's not being very political there in doing this but. A lot of people are calling for her passport to be pulled fervor citizenship to be pulled. And it's adjusting for a movie star that we think of is so American she has two kids that did she named in the original Hebrew that her original work was and he group. And so she someone who identifies with the country very close apply. In not accepting this award it really rubbed a lot of people the wrong way but. Giordano told me there's also people who are saying. You don't Natalie Portman in Israel Fuzzy the podcasting. Experience been so far podcast has been awesome guys we leave what I really like about working here in the building is on around you guys around so many great reporters and I just get to go. Every every afternoon and evening it could go can people and say hey what are you working on what you now he said I'm around you guys and great reporter. I can't read we'll let the companies it's fun to talk to you on camera every Natalie especially love having you here with us these early morning hours would come back aren't great. Given in but. At effort to hold do that you remember you can subscribe to start here on your favorite podcasting Abumrad milky always great to have you here thanks so much thanks gods.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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