British historian boycotts Israeli award
British historian Catherine Hall has turned down a prestigious Israeli award, citing political reasons.
Hall, a feminist historian and Professor of Modern British Social and Cultural History at University College London, had been awarded the $330,000 prize by the Dan David Foundation, and was supposed to be honoured at a ceremony at Tel Aviv University
Campaigners in the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement had appealed to Hall to refuse the prize, a joint initiative of the Dan David Foundation and Tel Aviv University, due to the latter’s complicity in Israeli occupation and colonialism.
Professor Richard Seaford, Emeritus Professor of Classics at Exeter University, welcomed the news.
“The illegal colonisation and the repressive measures of the Israeli government have now irredeemably tarnished Israel’s ‘glittering prizes’. For academics outside Israel, boycott of all activities relating to the Israeli state and universities is rapidly becoming the default position.”
Professor Hall said that she took the “political choice” to refuse the prize “after many discussions with those who are deeply involved with the politics of Israel-Palestine.”