A Knesset hall of fame, featuring parliamentarians who won the Israel Prize, is
set to be unveiled when the legislature starts its winter session next
The Israel Prize is the country’s highest civilian honor, and is
presented each year on Independence Day by the president, prime minister,
Knesset speaker and Supreme Court president for excellence in areas such as
humanities, social sciences, Jewish studies, natural and exact sciences,
culture, arts, communications, sports, lifetime achievement and exceptional
contributions to the nation.
The winners are recommended to the education
minister by a committee of judges.
There are photos of 33 Israel
Prize-winning former MKs on a wall outside the plenum, five of whom are women:
former prime minister Golda Meir, Shulamit Aloni, Geula Cohen, Sara Stern-Katan
and Shoshana Parsitz.
Other MKs in the hall of fame include poet Uri Zvi
Greenberg; Yizhar Smilansky, better known as the author S. Yizhar; former IDF
chief of staff and archeologist Yigal Yadin; industrialist Stef Wertheimer;
Rabbi Moshe Zvi Neria; ex-justice minister Pinchas Rosen and Rabbi Haim
The hall of fame also features former Tehiya MK Yuval Ne’eman,
who returned his 1969 prize for exact sciences when poet and former Maki MK
Emile Habibi received one in 1992.
Secular, national-religious, haredi
and Arab former MKs won the Israel Prize in areas ranging from lifetime
achievement to sciences, art and culture.
Senior Citizens Minister Uri
Orbach came up with the idea for a “hall of fame” to improve MKs’ negative
public image, and received Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein’s blessing.
hall of fame will become part of tours of the Knesset.
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