Stockholm, October 4, 2001

The jury of "The Right Livelihood  Award", generally known as the  "Alternative Nobel Prize", announced that it has awarded this years award to "Gush Shalom and Uri and Rachel Avnery". The award will be awarded in the Swedish parliament on December 7, a day before the official Nobel awards.

In its decision the Jury says that the award was given to "Gush Shalom and its co-founders Uri and Rachel Avnery, who have shown the way to peace between Israelis and Palestinians, and worked for several decades with courage and dedication to promote its acceptance and implementation. The Jury honors the Avnerys and all Gush Shalom activists for their unwavering conviction in the most difficult and dangerous circumstances that peace and an end to terrorism can only be achieved through justice and reconciliation."

This is the fifth international prize awarded to Uri Avnery, who never got a prize in Israel. For "Gush Shalom", this is the second international award. The unselfish dedication of Rachel Avnery, who is in charge of the Gush's operations, is internationally recognized for the first time.

The prestigious award was founded in 1980, "to honor and support those offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today". Jacob von Uexkull, a Swedish-German philatelic expert, sold his valuable postage stamps to provide the original endowment.

Alfred Nobel wanted to honor those whose work "brought the greatest benefit to humanity." Von Uexkull felt that the Nobel Prizes today ignore much work and knowledge vital to the future of humankind."

As every year, the award was divided between four. The three other laureates are Trident Ploughshares, a British organization dedicated to rid the world of nuclear weapons; Leonardo Boff, Brazil, one of the founders of liberation theology in Latin America; and Jose Antonio Abreu, the founder of Venezuela's system of children's orchestras.


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