Israel Prize winner in mathematics and computer science Professor Oded Goldreich will be donating his prize money to five left-wing human rights organizations.
A professor of computer science at the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science of Weizmann Institute of Science, Goldreich will divide the $ 23,300 among five organizations he said are working toward the goals of fighting to end the Israeli occupation, genuine equality for all of the country’s inhabitants and for social justice.
The groups are Breaking the Silence, Standing Together, Kav LaOved, B’Tselem and the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel (Adalah).
Goldreich was awarded the prize on Monday for his work on computational complexity theory.
Addressing Israel’s occupation of Palestine, he said:
I would like to say something a bit political. The story is not complete without mentioning the price paid by another nation for our revival, and our moral commitment to try as best as we can to compensate and not oppress the other nation.
He added: “We are, of course, doing the exact opposite. Personally, it darkens my life.”
A petition against handing the prize to the professor was set up by the Israeli Education Minister, Yifat Shasha-Biton, which was overruled last month, by the High Court of Justice.
In response, she said: “The fact that Professor Goldreich decided to donate the Israel Prize to organizations that work against Israel Defense Forces soldiers who risk their lives for us – after having called to boycott an Israeli academic institution – proves that he is a provocateur who cannot engage in academia with clean hands, and does not deserve a national prize. “
She added that “the High Court’s decision to award him the prize in opposition to my opinion was wrong.”
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Meanwhile, the rights groups receiving the prize money praised Goldreich’s decision to support the rights of Palestinians.
In a joint statement, they said: “This is also our opportunity to express our appreciation for that fact that throughout his remarkable academic career, Professor Goldreich has used his name, status and achievements to promote battles for equality, justice, democracy and human rights . “
The statement added that it is due to his “determination to promote these values which certain politicians are determined to mock,” that he was initially denied the prize.
“We are proud to pledge that the former and present education ministers will be agitated by our actions for the benefit of Israelis and Palestinians with the generosity of Professor Goldreich.”