Human Rights-Israel physicians share ‘Alternative Nobel'

Prize established to “honor and support those offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today.”

October 1, 2010 02:14
1 minute read.
Medical staff at a hospital

hospital doctors health 58. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Physicians for Human Rights- Israel, based in Tel Aviv, will share the 2010 Alternative Nobel Prize for its work, including its helping of Palestinians in mobile health clinics and migrant workers in Tel Aviv.

Gush Shalom, which itself received the award nine years ago, praised the decision announced on Thursday, saying it knew of “no one more worthy” of receiving the award.

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The prize will be awarded in the Swedish parliament on December 6, four days before the Nobel Prize ceremony.

Also known as the “Right Livelihood Awards,” the prize was established in 1980 to “honor and support those offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today.”

There are now 141 laureates from 59 countries. It is presented each year in Stockholm and usually shared by four recipients, but not all laureates receive a cash award. Often an Honorary Award is given to a person or group whose work the judges want to recognize but who is not primarily in need of monetary support.

The prize money this year is ¤200,000 and is for ongoing successful work rather than for personal use.

Jakob von Uexkull, founder and co-chairman of the Right Livelihood Awards, maintained that the prize “is widely recognized as the world’s premier award for personal courage and social transformation. Besides the financial support, it enables its recipients to reach out to an international audience that otherwise might not have heard of them. Often, the award also gives crucial protection against repression. For the laureates, the award has opened many doors, including prison doors.”

PHR-Israel was initiated by Israeli physician Dr. Ruhama Marton. Members say they aim to prevent serious abuses of human rights, including by saving lives in cases where the Israeli bureaucracy blocked Palestinians patients from getting essential treatment, especially Palestinians in Gaza.

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