Israel Prize Winner to Donate Award to Far Left Group

A view of the Hebrew University on Mount Scopus in Yerushalayim. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
A view of the Hebrew University on Mount Scopus in Yerushalayim. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Professor David Shulman, a professor of comparative religion at Hebrew University, is the winner of one of the Israel Prizes, which will be given out at the end of Independence Day on Thursday – and Shulman has announced that he intends to donate his NIS 75,000 prize to radical leftist group Ta’ayush, reported Haaretz. He is doing this, he told the Awards Committee that decided to award him the prize, because of the “ongoing persecution of Ta’ayush and other left-wing groups fighting for human right by the right, which seeks to preserve the occupation.”

The announcement of Shulman was made in February by the awards committee. At the time, numerous MKs and right-wing activist decried the award, but Education Minister Naftali Bennett approved the award, saying that what mattered in the Israel Prize were not a recipient’s political views, but his accomplishments, which, in the case of Shulman, were many.

The head of Ta’ayush, Ezra Nawi, was arrested in February, implicated in assisting the Palestinian Authority to arrest and torture Arabs in the south Chevron Hills region for the “crime” of selling land to Jews. Nawi’s role in the ongoing PA campaign against “traitors” who sell land to Jews was highlighted in a documentary broadcast on Channel Two. In footage and recordings gathered by right-wing activists who infiltrated Ta’ayush and B’Tselem, another leftist group, Nawi and his B’Tselem colleague Nasser Nawaje are seen bragging one to another about how many Palestinian landsellers they informed on to the PA. When the activists asked what their fate was, the two answered that “the PA takes care of them … they kill them.”

Under PA law, selling land to Jews is a crime punishable by death. According to the Channel Two documentary, a number of the landsellers whom Nawi and Nawaje told the PA about turned up dead. Nawaje is a resident of Chevron, in an area controlled by the PA. Nawi, however, is an Israeli citizen.

In the wake of the broadcast, dozens of MKs, ministers, and ordinary Israelis called for an immediate criminal investigation into the groups for their support of the PA’s murderous policies, and as, if not murderers themselves, accessories to murder. In a statement, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that the documentary “exposes the true face of the radicals, whose hatred of settlers has driven them to hand over innocent people for torture and certain death. The investigation once again highlights the cruel way the PA tortures and murders Palestinians whose only ‘crime’ is to sell land to Jews. These terrible actions require a full condemnation of all Israelis. Those who aid and abet murder cannot hide behind the mask of defending the ‘human rights’ of anyone,” Netanyahu added.