Tel Aviv: British historian Catherine Hall, a feminist historian and Professor of Modern British Social and Cultural History at University College London, had turned down an award of $330,000 by the Dan David Foundation, citing political reasons, Middle East Monitor reported Monday.
Campaigners in the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement had appealed to the historian to refuse the prize, which is 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 colonization and the repressive measures of the Israeli government have now irredeemably tarnished Israel’s ‘glittering prizes’. For academics outside Israel, the 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”.
Meanwhile, Israel’s Public Security and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan confirmed on Sunday that the British security company G4S pulled out of Israel due to similar reasons.