Israeli journalist and Palestinian pastor win Olof Palme award 2015

January 8, 2016

On 7 January 2016 it was announced that Israeli journalist Gideon Levy and Palestinian pastor Mitri Raheb have won the 2015 Olof Palme human rights prize. Levy, a journalist at the left-leaning Israeli daily Haaretz, and Raheb, a preacher and pastor in the Lutheran church in Bethlehem, were honoured for their “courageous and indefatigable fight against occupation and violence, and for a future Middle East characterised by peaceful coexistence and equality for all,” the Olof Palme Memorial Fund said in a statement.

Journalist at Israel's Haaretz newspaper, Gideon Levy poses in his home on August 12, 2014 in the coastal Israeli city of Tel AvivGideon Levy poses in his home on August 12, 2014 in Tel Aviv (AFP Photo/Gil Cohen Magen)

A controversial figure for the Palestinian cause in his country (and has even been described as the most hated man in Israel), Levy has published articles opposing the Israeli army’s operations in Gaza in December 2008-January 2009 and in July-August 2014. For more than 25 years he has written a column, entitled “Twilight Zone”, on the hardships of life in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Levy won the Euro-Med journalism prize in 2008. Levy has been shot at repeatedly by the Israeli army and been labelled a security risk by some Israeli ministers for his work in the Occupied West Bank. “Israel’s democracy is a very feeble one, in any case – lacking appropriate protections, without the required checks and balances, a democracy mainly directed at the country’s Jewish citizens,” Gideon wrote in a recent column for MEE (Middle East Eye).

Raheb is a renowned theologist and author, a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan who has worked to further inter-religious respect and understanding, particularly among youths.

For more on the Olof Palme Prize: http://www.brandsaviors.com/thedigest/award/olof-palme-prize

Sources:

Israeli journalist, Palestinian pastor win Swedish rights prize – Yahoo News

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/mee-contributor-gideon-levy-wins-international-509487570

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