Israel Prize ceremony goes ahead after controversy over selection process

Winners of the Israel Prize receive their awards at the traditional Independence Day ceremony, after the selection process this year was marred by controversy over Education Minister Yoav Kisch’s effort to replace the customary categories with two new ones related to the ongoing war in Gaza against Hamas.

Kisch shakes hands with Mellanox founder Eyal Waldman, the winner of the Entrepreneurship Award, after the latter accused the education minister and close associates of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of pressuring the relevant Israel Prize selection committee to change its decision to award him the honor. Waldman, whose daughter Danielle was among the over 350 people slaughtered by Hamas terrorists at the Nova music festival, has been a vocal critic of the government.

Chief Sephardic Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef is also on hand to receive his prize, after the High Court of Justice rejected petitions against giving him an award due to his controversial comments he’s made about ultra-Orthodox enlistment to the Israel Defense Forces.

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