Israel Prize winners call for Belgium to boycott West Bank products

 
A Palestinian man walks by a grafitti sign calling to boycott Israel seen on a street in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on February 11, 2015.
(photo credit: MIRIAM ALSTER/FLASH90)

A group of Israel Prize winners and former officials led by Prof. Oded Goldreich called on Belgium to lead a boycott of Israeli West Bank goods.

2021 Israel Prize winner Prof. Oded Goldreich, along with three other recipients, has sent a letter to the Belgian foreign minister calling for Belgium to boycott goods from the West Bank.

The letter, which was reportedly sent earlier in May, praised Belgium's decision to place consumer labels on West Bank settlement products back in November of last year.

Belgium's move garnered strong condemnations from Israeli politicians and even led to Deputy Foreign Minister Idan Roll canceling scheduled meetings with Belgian officials.

Belgium 'must take leadership' against settlements

Now, according to Goldreich and others, Belgium must "take leadership" by leading a boycott of Israeli settlement products from the West Bank.

"We believe more action should be taken to create significant change in the Israeli government's actions [in the West Bank]"

Prof. Oded Goldreich's letter to the Belgian government

"As Israeli citizens, we are worried by the Israeli government's commitment to de facto annexing occupied Palestinian land," the letter continues.

Weizmann Institute math and computer science professor Oded Goldreich receive the Israel Prize at a ceremony at the Education Ministry in Jerusalem, April 11, 2022 (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Those who signed the letter along with Prof. Goldreich include Israel Prize recipients Prof. Yehoshua Kolodny, Prof. David Shulman and Alex Levac, former MK and Jewish Agency chairman Avraham Burg and other former officials and professors.

Prof. Goldreich's previous battles with the Israeli government

Goldreich, of the Weizmann Institute of Science, was awarded his Israel Prize in mathematics and computer science in April after a year-long battle with two different education ministers who refused to award the professor due to his political beliefs.

In April, the High Court of Justice overruled Education Minister Yifat Shasha Biton's decision to block Goldreich from receiving the prize. Shasha Biton expressed her "sorrow" over the decision but promised to abide by it.

Goldreich has in the past also called for the boycott of colleagues at Ariel University, because of its physical location, beyond the Green Line in the settlement of Ariel.

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