Gideon Levy: Give YESHA Council the Israel Prize

Left-wing Haaretz columnist says prize returned by embattled ZAKA founder should go to movement which has influenced Israeli society.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Gideon Levy
Gideon Levy
Amir Levi/Flash 90

Left-wing columnist Gideon Levy called for the Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievement for Special Contribution to Society, which was declined by ZAKA founder Yehuda Meshi-Zahav in light of the sexual assault investigation against him, to instead be given to the leaders of the settler movement in Judea and Samaria.

"Now we need to find another winner for the prize. It's time to give it to someone who really deserves it, to someone who has contributed to society and the state more than anyone else, until it completely changed her face, her border, her portrait, and even the police. It's time to give the award to the Yesha Council. There is no one worthy of it," Levy wrote in an opinion piece for Haaretz Thursday.

According to Levy, "It is time for all Zionists to honor the settlers. They are the great success story of Zionism since the establishment of the state. There is no Zionism without settlements today, there is nothing like the settlements to demonstrate the colonialist nature of Zionism."

"We must honestly admit that the settlers won a long time ago. Their colonialism, unlike most other colonial movements in history, is irreversible. Just imagine Israel without the settlements. It would be a different country. Small, safe and much more just. There would be no Hague, no apartheid ... what was missing in southern Lebanon And evacuated from Egyptian Sinai and Palestinian Gaza, will remain forever in Judea and Binyamin, which already has some 700,000 guarantees.

"It is true that the whole of Israel, right and left, succumbed to pressure, intimidation and blackmail, but they did so willingly. Deep down, everyone here knew: the settlers are the successors of the oppressive and expulsive colonial campaign that never stopped. What started with Hanita, we will continue with Sussiya. It deserves the Israel Prize," Levy said. Kibbutz Hanita was a settlement established in the Galilee in 1938.

Yesha Council spokesman Elnatan Scharia responded: "We thank Gideon Levy for the important strengthening of our work. Indeed, the settlements have progressed in an unprecedented manner in recent years and we are pleased to be a significant and important factor in the development of Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley. We believe that we will continue to move forward and bring a million residents here soon."