BDS-supporting Israel Prize winner will not receive award

Goldreich has a long history of anti-Zionist activity, Im Tirtzu revealed.

By David Isaac, World Israel News 

What two things don’t go together? The Israel Prize and BDS.

Yet Oded Goldreich, a Weizmann Institute of Science professor who supported the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, was to receive the Israel Prize this year for his work in mathematics and computer science.

Cooler heads have prevailed. It was reported on Thursday that Goldreich will not receive the prize. As a mathematics professor, perhaps even he could see something didn’t add up.

Not only Israel, but the U.S. and a UN reports have labeled BDS an anti-Semitic movement. Germany, which knows something about anti-Semitic boycotts, branded BDS as “anti-Semitic” in May 2019.

Goldreich reportedly condemned the German decision. He signed onto a 2019 letter by 240 Israeli and Jewish academics calling on the German government to reject its resolution linking BDS with anti-Semitism.

Rumors that Goldreich was to receive the Israel Prize sent Israeli Education Minister Yoav Galant into action. In March, he demanded that the Israel Prize nominating committee rescind its decision due to Goldreich’s BDS support.

On Thursday, Israel’s High Court of Justice ruled in favor of Galant. The court said Goldreich can’t receive the prize this year and gave the minister a month to further examine the issue.

Zionist watchdog group Im Tirtzu took credit for the ruling. The group said it revealed new evidence of Goldreich’s support for boycotts that tipped the court against him.

Im Tirtzu revealed that Goldreich was among the 522 academics from Israel and abroad who signed a petition on March 23 calling for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions in Judea and Samaria.

“After reviewing the petition and hearing the arguments of both sides,” the High Court wrote, “we found at this stage to accept the position of the Attorney General that the Education Minister should be allowed to examine new information that he received only two days ago regarding a petition that Professor Goldreich signed that was publicized around two weeks ago.”

The court continued: “Calling for boycotts can in certain circumstances, without setting a precedent at this stage, fall into the scope of exceptional circumstances in which non-professional considerations can be taken into account.”

Im Tirtzu welcomed the decision. “Despite the fact that the High Court justices had no business in the first place interfering with the Education Minister’s decision in regards to the Israel Prize, they were correct to side with Minister Galant.”

“The State of Israel should not award those who slander it and Goldreich should not be permitted to receive the prize,” the group added.

The watchdog group also noted that Goldreich has a long history of anti-Zionist activity, which includes signing a petition encouraging the United Methodist Church to divest from “companies that enable the occupation to continue;” accusing Israel of the “slaughter of large numbers of wholly innocent people” in Gaza; and signing a petition in “support and appreciation” of students and lecturers who illegally refused to carry out their IDF service in Judea and Samaria.