British Historian Catherine Hall Rejects £225,000 Israeli Award for ‘Political’ Reasons

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Academic snubs prominent prize following lengthy discussions about the Israel-Palestine conflict

ED Noor: Well done, Dr. Hall!

A prominent British historian has rejected an Israeli academic prize worth hundreds of thousands of pounds after engaging in “many discussions” about the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Professor Catherine Hall from University College London turned down the £225,000 research award, describing her decision as “an independent political choice”.

Professor Hall, who specializes in colonial history, was due to be presented with the prize from the Dan David Foundation during a ceremony in Tel Aviv on Sunday night but declined to attend.

It is believed she was motivated to reject the award after talking with the Palestinian boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, which several prominent British academics have become involved in since its launch in 2005.

It was announced in February that Professor Hall, also a feminist political activist, would be this year’s recipient of the award.

In a statement published on the British Committee for Universities of Palestine (BRICUP) Facebook page, Hall said: “I have withdrawn from the prize ~ this was an independent political choice.

“[It was] 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.”

BRICUP meanwhile claimed Professor Hall’s decision was “a significant endorsement of the campaign to end ties with Israeli institutions”, saying she had “placed principle above financial gain.

The Dan David award was launched in 2002 by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Dan David and is one of Israel’s most prestigious academic prizes.

Winners are awarded in three fields ~ Past, Present and Future ~ and Hall was due to be given this year’s ‘Past’ prize for her pioneering of gender history research.

Organizers said that cash winnings from the award will instead be distributed as grants for young history students at Tel Aviv University and across the globe.

Ariel David from the foundation’s administrative board said: “This will give Israelis of all backgrounds, whether Jewish or Arab, as a well as international scholars, the opportunity to meet at this beautiful campus and engage in academic discussion, research and discovery.”

See also: Famed feminist British historian refuses prestigious Israeli award

Source: The Independent

5 thoughts on “British Historian Catherine Hall Rejects £225,000 Israeli Award for ‘Political’ Reasons

  • May 25, 2016 at 1:32 pm
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    British intellectuals are either very much aware of the racist imperialistic background of the British national consciousness, or they just deny it in a very hypocritical way while being inwardly quite proud of being so superior, so open and liberal. But no Brit can be as completely ignorant of his imperial past as a Murkin can be.

  • May 25, 2016 at 3:05 pm
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    What a nice gesture. We need more people like her, she declined the money and fame for the good cause. Good bless her.

  • May 25, 2016 at 5:12 pm
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    That is true, but credit where credit is due, please.

  • May 27, 2016 at 12:22 am
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    Isaac, This was in response to Comment #1. I am still learning new things daily about the functioning of this website for various little things.

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