Published On: Mon, May 23rd, 2016

British historian declines $300, 000 Israeli prize, citing conflict with Palestinians

British historian Catherine Hall. Credit Wikimedia Commons.

British historian Catherine Hall of University College London declined $300, 000 prize,  an Israeli award she was set to receive, for what she called “political” reasons. Hall did not attend the award ceremony at Tel Aviv University (TAU) on Sunday.

Hall was due to receive the prize for her “impact on social history, as a pioneer in gender history, race and slavery. While active in the women’s liberation movement, her work focused on women’s history in the 1970s.

TAU administers annual $3 million prizes, named after late philanthropist Dan David, for researchers in three different fields. Hall was among the three researchers set to split $1 million prize in social history. Ariel David, Dan David’s son, said the $300, 000 intended for Hall will instead go toward funding scholarships for TAU students.

The British Committee for Universities of Palestine (BRICUP) posted on Facebook a quote by Hall quoted as saying: “This was an independent political choice, undertaken after many discussions with those who are deeply involved with the politics of Israel-Palestine, but with differing views as to how best to act.”



The pro-Palestinian group, an organization of British academics who call for boycotting Israel, said that Hall’s stance was reinforced by a decision from professor David Shulman, from Hebrew University, who last week chose to donate $20, 000 he won for the Israel Prize to Ta’ayush, an Israeli NGO that works with Palestinians in the West Bank. He was awarded the prize for his work on Indian languages and culture.



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