Israeli Court backs Oded Goldreich who wants to donate Israel Prize money to human rights NGOs

April 15, 2022
Israel Prize winner in mathematics and computer science Professor Oded Goldreich will be donating his prize money to five left-wing human rights organisations [@WeizmannScience/Twitter]

Times of Isrel (TOI ) on 14 April 2022 reports on Professor Oded Goldreich, a recent recipient of the Israel Prize in mathematics, wants to donate his NIS 75,000 ($23,350) in prize money to five human rights organizations, including Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem.

Goldreich, a professor of computer science at Israel’s Weizmann Institute, received the Israel Prize at the offices of the Education Ministry Monday, despite opposition from some government ministers and following a nearly year-long political saga over his alleged support for anti-Israel boycotts.

The five groups that will receive the prize money are Breaking the Silence, Standing Together, Kav LaOved, B’Tselem, and Adalah.

Breaking the Silence collects and publicizes mostly anonymous testimony of alleged IDF mistreatment of Palestinians. The organization has riled Israelis, and drawn ire from officials, who have challenged the authenticity of its anonymous claims and decried its work in international forums.

Standing Together supports and donates supplies to soldiers; Kav LaOved is a legal aid group for disadvantaged workers; B’Tselem documents alleged human rights violations in the West Bank; and Adalah is a legal center for Palestinians.

Last month, the High Court of Justice ruled that Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton must hand over the prize to Goldreich, following a petition against her refusal to give him the award filed by the members of the prize committee. The committee had initially awarded the honor to Goldreich last year.

The court ruling was a majority decision, with Justices Yael Willner and Yitzhak Amit siding with the appeal and Justice Noam Sohlberg opposing it.

Shasha-Biton had claimed that an academic boycott of Israel, which she said Goldreich supports, impacts freedom of speech. Amit ruled that “the harm to academic freedom of speech by withholding the prize from professor Goldreich is much worse.”

Denying the honor to a recognized academic over comments he made is “an invitation to monitor, track, and persecute academics in Israel,” Amit said. Shasha-Biton said at the time that she regretted the justices’ decision, but would respect it. She noted that since the court had previously said the education minister should decide the matter, it should have respected her decision.

“A person who calls for a boycott of an Israeli academic institution is not worthy of a state prize, no matter what his achievements or political views are,” she said.

Likud MK and former intelligence minister Eli Cohen tweeted that “Goldreich is the symptom. The root of the problem is the High Court of Justice.”

https://www.timesofisrael.com/controversial-israel-prize-winner-to-donate-grant-money-to-human-rights-ngos/

https://www.ynetnews.com/article/skrb3h4eq

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20220414-israel-prize-winner-to-donate-award-money-to-groups-fighting-to-end-the-occupation/

One Response to “Israeli Court backs Oded Goldreich who wants to donate Israel Prize money to human rights NGOs”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: