Denmark's former foreign minister, whose game-show winnings will be donated to the Peres Center for Peace, stressed yesterday that the contribution was not made in honor of President Shimon Peres.
"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," Mogens Lykketoft said. "I made it clear upon winning that the money would go to the center, which is an independent body."
A donation of NIS 670,000, or 1 million Danish krone, will be made to the Peres Center by the victors of the Danish version of the TV game show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?"
The money will be used to cover the expenses of Palestinian children hospitalized in Israeli facilities.
The two game-show winners are former Danish foreign minister Lykketoft and television journalist Martin Krasnik, who also participate on an international affairs television program together. The pair won after answering all 15 questions correctly, including the final million-krone question asking which of four vehicle models was the first to be manufactured. The answer was "Opel Astra."
On determining where their winnings would go, Lykketoft said, "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."
The former Danish foreign minister said that he does not support Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's policies, but supports the effort toward peace. He added that Israel should comply with the demands of the international community and immediately put an end to settlement activities.
"I have been to Israel several times, 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," Lykketoft said. "I became familiar with the Peres Peace Center and its director [Ron Pundak] and I support their activities."
"We are surprised by the generous donation, but mostly pleased that the activities of the Peres Center are appreciated and recognized outside of the region," Ron Pundak said
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