Jewish Voice for Peace has called on America’s Chief Medical Adviser to the President, Dr. Anthony Fauci, not to legitimise “apartheid” Israel by accepting a prominent prize from the occupation state.
Fauci is one of the winners of the Dan David Prize for “Speaking Truth to Power.”
Winners of the award receive a prize of $1 million during a lavish ceremony in Tel Aviv.
In a letter sent on March 1, 2021, JVP urged Fauci to “send a powerful message” by rejecting the prize.
The appeal to Fauci was made by Dr Alice Rothchild on behalf of the Jewish Voice for Peace Health Advisory Council.
Statement from @jvplive – Health Advisory Council "Dr. Fauci, don’t accept Israel’s prize and legitimize apartheid"
"We are now joining those that are calling for you to boycott the award entirely":https://t.co/ez6XaN3nT7
— Alice Rothchild, MD (@AliceRothchild) April 12, 2021
“The fact is that the award is being offered by the Israeli government which is guilty of maintaining decades of occupation and a widespread disregard for international law and Palestinian human rights,” said the group.
“Accepting the Dan David Prize which you received for ‘Speaking Truth to Power’ will obscure the ongoing health crisis in the occupied territories that is caused by Israeli policies of de-development, restrictions of movement of people, medications, etc., and militarization of the entire region,” the group continued.
The group added that accepting the prize “contributes to legitimizing Israel’s violence and racism and also legitimizes the institutions that are central to Israel’s apartheid policies.”
The group also stated, “We doubt you would have been an apologist for South African apartheid. We urge you to decline the prize and to respect the call for a cultural boycott of Israeli institutions.”
“This call was issued by Palestinians who are most affected by Israeli policy and the denial of access to medical care that is central to the catastrophic disparities between Israeli citizens and Palestinians in the occupied territories when it comes to COVID 19.”
Calls to boycott the Israeli prize have increased over the years.
Several high-profile figures have turned down prizes awarded by the occupation state.
Human rights activists argue that such events and ceremonies are used to divert attention from Israel’s many human rights abuse.
In January, the leading Israeli human rights group B’Tselem cited the bill as one of the many reasons for concluding that ‘Israel’ is an apartheid state that “promotes and perpetuates Jewish supremacy between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.”
B’Tselem said that while Palestinians live under different forms of Israeli control in the occupied West Bank, blockaded Gaza, annexed east Jerusalem and within ‘Israel’ itself, they have fewer rights than Jews in the entire area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.
“One of the key points in our analysis is that this is a single geopolitical area ruled by one government,” said B’Tselem director Hagai El-Ad. “This is not democracy plus occupation. This is apartheid between the river and the sea.”