Peres center receives donation from Danish TV winners

Former Danish FM and television journalist win a million Danish Krone on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" and donate entire sum to center.

Who wants to be a millionaire Denmark (photo credit: Screenshot)
Who wants to be a millionaire Denmark
(photo credit: Screenshot)
Former Danish foreign minister Mogens Lykketoft and television journalist Martin Krasnik, who came out victorious on Monday’s local Danish “politics special” of the Who Wants to be a Millionaire TV show announced that they will both be donating their winnings – a total of 1 million Danish krone (NIS 650,000) to the Peres Center for Peace.
The money, which the winners received for correctly answering all of the 15 questions, including the final million krone question asking which of four vehicle models was the first to be manufactured, will go towards the center’s peace building projects, which bring together Israeli and Palestinian children.
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In a phone interview from Copenhagen, Lykketoft said that despite their disagreement on Middle East politics, the two participants agreed that the center was a worthy recipient for their winnings.
“I have been very critical of the Israeli government’s policies regarding the occupation of the Palestinian territories while Mr. Krasnik tends to look more favorably upon Israel, but we both believed that peace is better than war and after lengthy deliberations we decided that the money should go to those who are trying to make a difference,” said Lykketoft.
“I have been to Israel several time, most recently in March when we visited Israel and the Palestinian Authority as well as Syria and Lebanon with the [Danish] parliament’s foreign policy committee. I became familiar with the Peres Peace Center and its director and I support their activities,” said the former minister.
Asked whether he was familiar with President Shimon Peres himself, Lykketoft said that he had met him several times in the past. “I do not agree with him on all issues and have been disappointed by his decisions and actions in recent years since he won the Nobel Peace Prize. I made it clear upon winning that the money would go to the center which is an independent body,” said Lykketoft.
“We are surprised and excited by the generous donation, but mostly pleased to know that the activities of the Peres Center are appreciated and recognized outside the region, said the center’s director-general, Ron Pundak.
“The Peres Center conducts a wide variety of projects that serve communities across Israel and its neighbors, all of which are funded by donations.
These days, more than ever, we need all the donations and support we can get. I am extremely grateful to Mogens Lykketoft and Martin Krasnik and of course to the producers of the Danish Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. This donation joins an ongoing collaboration with the government of Denmark and the Danish people to build peace between Israel and its neighbors.”
According to the center’s spokeswoman, the money that will be transferred to the Peres Center will be directed to projects working to improve the quality of life and connections between Israeli and Palestinian children in areas of sport, culture, technology and health.
“One of the projects which will benefit from the surprise donation is the Saving Children project,” she said. “The Saving Children project facilitates the referral of Palestinian babies and children to Israeli hospitals for complex investigations, diagnoses, and surgical procedures, when such services are unavailable in the Palestinian Authority. Treatments include heart surgery, brain surgery, spinal surgery, cancer treatments and more.
“In addition, the project also includes training of the Palestinian pediatricians through joint workshops and seminars.
The cost of medical services and logistical support required for these complex procedures is completely covered by the Peres Center and does not incur any expenses on families of children. The program strengthens the capabilities of the Israeli hospitals and their ability to provide services to Israeli children.”