Jewish historian Reuven Moskovitz, who was awarded Germany's prestigious Aachen Peace Prize on September 1, fired a broadside at the Israeli government during his acceptance speech.
The outspoken award winner used the glittering occasion to launch an attack on Israel's policies which have caused misery for millions of Palestinians. He called on Europe to exert pressure on Israel's Ariel Sharon to stop the persecution of Palestinians.
"All Israel's governing politicians have transformed the lives of the Palestinian people into an intolerable hell with their sanctions and expulsions", Moskovitz said.
Moskovitz, 75, said that while acts of violence by young Palestinians could not be justified, they were often the result of hopelessness and indignation caused by Israel's war policies.
Palestinian-born activist Nabila Espanioly also won the prize. Espanioly, a native of Nazareth who holds an Israeli passport, was cited for her 25-year fight for the rights of Palestinian women and children living in Israel.
The 2000-euro (US$2190) award was given to the two for providing "hope on the path to conciliation and peace between Jews and Palestinians", according to the Aachen Peace Prize Association chairperson Gerhard Diefenbach.
From Green Left Weekly, September 10, 2003.
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