Alternative Award for Breaking the Silence

17 November 2016

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.”

Yesterday, we received an alternative award from faculty members and students at Ben Gurion University in protest against the cancellation of the original award we were supposed to receive in June, and that was withdrawn by Prof. Rivka Carmi, president of the university. The granting of the prize was rejected on the grounds that "The organization Breaking the Silence is outside the national consensus."
We want to say to Prof. Rivka Carmi – you were right!
We are (proudly) outside the consensus. One by one, testimony after testimony, thousands of soldiers are revealing the danger of that consensus.
The danger of the occupation.
Listen to what our executive director, Yuli Novak, said yesterday evening at the alternative award ceremony>>

Full speech +972 Magazine​ >>

Posted by Breaking the Silence on Tuesday, November 8, 2016

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.