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Suddenly this past week, Netanyahu decided to disqualify some of the more openly political ideologues sitting as judges in the committees that award the prizes. One of those disqualified (Ariel Hirshfeld) is a radical professor who has long promoted insurrection and “refusal” by soldiers to serve in the military. Unlike those “judges,” Netanyahu has been elected to office by the people of Israel.

The Left is throwing conniptions. The Left never had any problems with “politicizing” the prizes, just as long as the committees of judges were controlled by leftists and the prizes were going to ultra-leftist extremists. The Left never raised any objections when a Maariv journalist (Shmuel Schnitzer) was denied award of the Prize by a petition to the Supreme Court motivated by the man’s non-leftist ideological opinions. The basis for the Court’s Borking him? He had written a column about the incidence of AIDS infections among Ethiopian immigrants and the public’s right to know about this. (For more, see this: ) It is unnecessary to point out how many Supreme Court justices are leftists. All of them are unelected.


Some of the “judges” have resigned from the prize award committees in protest. None ever resigned when the prize was granted to Sternhell, Aloni, or the IDI. The leftist media are denouncing Netanyahu for his “philistinism” and his “politicizing” the prizes. Haaretz, the monolithic anti-Israel propaganda machine now advocating for the anti-Israel Arab United List party, is leading the bellyaching about supposed “politicization.” This from a newspaper about as pluralistic as was Pravda under Brezhnev. ( see and ).

But now, how dare Netanyahu and the Likud exercise their power to govern simply on the basis of the fact that they were elected to power!!? That, you see, is undemocratic.

And after all, why should Israel Prizes be restricted to recipients who do not hate Israel?


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Steven Plaut is a professor at the University of Haifa. He can be contacted at [email protected]