Alternative Award for Breaking the Silence

NIF grantee Breaking the Silence received a NIS 20,000 award from Ben-Gurion University’s Middle East Studies Department. This follows the high-profile cancellation this summer by the university’s administration of the NIS 20,000 Berelson Prize for Jewish-Arab Understanding to the organization. At the time university officials rationalized the withdrawal of the prize on the grounds that Breaking the Silence was “not in the national consensus, and the giving of the prize is liable to give an appearance of political bias.”

The replacement award follows a student crowdfunding campaign to match the original prize, which was given instead to another NIF grantee – AJEEC-NISPED – which promotes shared society in the Negev.

Breaking the Silence head Yuli Novak said that she was “happy to discover that in the face of moral corruption, of violence, and of silencing, strong and brave forces rise up that refuse to give up on democracy and fight with us for the right and the duty of criticize and expose the truth about what is happening in the occupied territories.”

At the award ceremony, famed novelist Amos Oz spoke about the necessity for a society to have within it the moral strength to confront the challenges it faces, especially in times of conflict.

November 2016