Netanyahu, Peres congratulate Israel's newest Nobel laureate

PM, president laud Jewish recipients of 2013 Nobel Prize in chemistry.

October 9, 2013 17:56
1 minute read.
Nobel laureate professor Arieh Warshel.

Nobel laureate Arieh Warshel 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called Arieh Warshel Wednesday to congratulate him on winning the 2013 Nobel Prize in chemistry.

"Mazal Tov," Netanyahu said to the Israeli-born Warshel who is now a professor at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. "You are doing great things. It is exceptionally impressive, and we are proud of you, proud of people who were at the Technion and the Weizmann Institute,  and advanced those places.  I will be happy to meet you when you come to Israel."

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Netanyahu asked Warshel to explain to him the research that won him the prize, and the Nobel laureate said the research that won him the award was conducted during his years in Israel.

Warshel won the prize along with two other Jewish professors, South African born Michael Levitt and Vienna-born Martin Karplus.

Levitt also holds Israeli citizenship, and taught at the Weizmann Institute from 1980 to 1987.

Netanyahu has made it a practice to phone Israelis and congratulate them for distinguished feats on the world stage. For instance, he also phoned Israel's last Nobel laureate, Dan Shechtman, when he won the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2011.  But it is not only scientists, or first-place winners, that he calls.

Last year Netanyahu called  13-year-old Yishai Oliel who won a prestigious international tennis championship for juniors,  And he also called Boris Gelfand, when he just barely lost the 2012 Chess World Championship to India's Viswanathan Anand.

President Shimon Peres also called to congratulate Warshel.

"I want to congratulate you on behalf of the State of Israel and the Jewish people and every person who hopes to overcome sickness and suffering because of your work," Peres told Warshel.

The president asked Warshel to convey the congratulations to his two fellow Jewish-American scientists who also won the prize. Staff contributed to this report.

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