Nobel Laureate Who Shared Prize With Israeli Colleagues Visits Palestinian University

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Martin Karplus after winning 2013 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.Credit: Dominick Reuter / Reuters

An Austrian-American scientist who shared the 2013 Nobel Prize for Chemistry with two Israeli colleagues has paid a visit of academic and political solidarity at East Jerusalem's Al-Quds University, the leading Palestinian institute of higher learning.

A university press release said Prof. Martin Karplus lectured to chemists and other faculty members on Sunday, but also made a political statement.

"During his meeting with the Palestinian academics/chemists Martin expressed his support for the Palestinian people, hoping that his visit to Al-Quds will help in making the world aware of the importance of the Palestinian territories, and help in furthering the peace process," the university said. Karplus proposed promoting the idea of "one land, with two states within that land, based on the work of Herbert Kelman."

"The idea is that Israel and Palestine would collaborate on improving their jointly owned land (efficient agriculture, water availability, etc), and that there would be two sovereign states, Palestine and Israel, within that land," Kalman said, according to the university.

Karplus shared the Nobel Prize with Michael Levitt, a South African native who became an Israeli citizen, and Israeli-born Arieh Warshel for "the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems." He visited Al Quds' Nanotechnology Research Lab, the Virology Medical Research Lab, and the Abu Jihad Center for the Palestinian Political Prisoners Movement, according to the press release.

Karplus, 84, is a professor emeritus at Harvard. He was born to a secular Austrian Jewish family that fled the country a few days after the Anschluss of 1938.

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