Haaretz Columnist Gideon Levy Wins 2015 Olof Palme Prize

Levy and co-winner Mitri Raheb, a Palestinian pastor, will receive the prize for their fight against ‘occupation and violence’ and their spreading of hope for peace.

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Gideon Levy.
Gideon Levy.Credit: AFP

Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy and Palestinian pastor Mitri Raheb were named co-winners of the 2015 Olof Palme Prize on Thursday for their "courageous and indefatigable fight against occupation and violence."

Both have given "a ray of hope to a conflict that has plagued and continues to plague millions of people and to endanger world peace," the jury said.

Levy joined Haaretz in 1982, and spent four years as the newspaper's deputy editor. A member of the editorial board, he is the author of the weekly Twilight Zone feature, which covers the Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza as well as the writer of political editorials for the newspaper.

Levy was the recipient of the Peace Through Media Award in 2012; the Euro-Med Journalist Prize for 2008 (for an article about children killed by the IDF); the Leipzig Freedom Prize in 2001; the Israeli Journalists’ Union Prize in 1997; and The Association of Human Rights in Israel Award for 1996.

His book, The Punishment of Gaza, was published in 2010.

Raheb works for the Lutheran church in Bethlehem, and founded the Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture that offers young people an opportunity to investigate their Palestinian identity and "invest in a culture of life as tools for a creative resistance against suffocating confinement," the jury added.

The prize worth 75,000 dollars was created in 1987 in memory of late Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme, who was assassinated in 1986.

The award ceremony is scheduled for January 29 in Stockholm. Organizers told dpa both winners were expected to attend.

Previous recipients include Congolese physician Denis Mukwege, former Czech president and dissident Vaclav Havel, Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and Amnesty International.