New York, NY, January 16, 2014 … In recognition of his nearly five decade-long career speaking out against anti-Semitism and his work in defense of the State of Israel, the Menachem Begin Heritage Center has awarded Abraham H. Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), with its prestigious 2013 Begin Prize.
The Begin Center presents the award annually to a person or organization who has accomplished an extraordinary act or acts for the benefit of the State of Israel. The 2013 awards were presented on December 4 in Jerusalem, where Mr. Foxman was honored alongside the Israeli research institute NGO Monitor and iconic Israeli actor Chaim Topol.
“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized with an award in the memory of Menachem Begin, who so fearlessly and courageously defended the Jewish state at a time when Israel had few friends around the world and was unfairly ostracized by the international community and at the U.N,” said Mr. Foxman. “It is humbling, and also a reminder that the groundwork he laid for today’s thriving Jewish State is something that we cannot and should not take for granted.”
In a videotaped tribute, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Mr. Foxman and his co-honoree NGO Monitor for their work in speaking out in defense of the state of Israel.
“You are doing a very important job in Israel and around the world against the de-legitimization campaign aimed at undermining the very existence of the State of Israel,” said Mr. Netanyahu. “You are our partners in the never ending fight against anti-Semitism, against the anti-Zionism and the racism that are flourishing today, unfortunately, in many parts of the world.”
Previous recipients of the Begin Prize include Ilan Ramon, Israel’s first astronaut who died in the Columbia disaster; Kaare Kristiansen, the Norwegian statesman who resigned from the Nobel Prize Committee when it awarded the prize to Yasir Arafat; and Rabbi Avraham Elimelech Firer, the founder of “Ezra L’Marpeh,” an organization that has helped thousands in their medical treatment and ability to overcome illnesses.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.