Bret Stephens, a former editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post, has won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for commentary for The Wall Street Journal, the prize committee announced Tuesday.

Stephens, who edited the Post from 2002 to 2004, was awarded the prestigious prize for a selection of his weekly “Global View” column on US foreign policy and domestic politics. In addition to writing his column for the Journal, Stephens is the deputy editorial page editor for the international editions and is a member of the editorial board.

The committee praised Stephens for his “incisive columns on American foreign policy and domestic politics, often enlivened by a contrarian twist.”

Stephens defeated finalists from The Boston Globe and New Jersey Star Ledger to win the $10,000 prize.

“I was totally shocked,” Stephens told the Post from his office at the Journal. “I might as well have been hit by the same asteroid that nearly missed Russia. I feel very lucky to have won it. There are a lot of first-class commentators out there. It could have gone to any of the finalists. Humility doesn’t come easily to me, but this certainly achieves that effect.”

Stephens, 39, said it was especially an honor for him to have won the prize before he turned 40. He was 28 when he became The Jerusalem Post’s editor, a post he credited with honing his skills that led to the Pulitzer.

“I mastered the craft of writing a column at The Jerusalem Post,” Stephens said. “Post readers’ feedback, their praise, and even their criticism made me the writer that I am today. I will continue to write a great deal about Israel and the urgent threats to its security and rebut the libels on its good name. That is a legacy of those critical years I spent in Israel.”

When asked what he would do the money, he said it would go toward the education of his children to help ensure their future success.

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