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Israelis Urged to Tolerate Opposing Ideological Views

April 22, 1983
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

National unity and tolerance for opposing ideological views were the themes sounded at the awards ceremonies here for the prestigious Israel Prize, the closing event of the Independence Day celebrations.

Education Minister Zevulun Hammer urged people to stop categorizing each other in ideological terms or other labels because this leads to intolerance and intellectual deafness. One of the prize winners, former Religious Affairs Minister Zerach Warhaftig who spoke for his fellow-recipients, also stressed the need for greater tolerance and openness in Israeli society.

Hammer, a leader of the National Religious Party, declared: “The forces of creativity are crushed when we lock people into ideological or political pigeon-holes. People who compartmentalize others become deaf to what others have to say.”

Warhaftig noted that the prizes are not simply awards to individuals but were symbolic of Israel’s admiration for values of research, scholarship, literature, poetry and song.


Warhaftig, the senior among the seven winners, was awarded the Israel Prize for his academic researches in Jewish law and his general contributions to Jewish scholarship. Other recipients were Prof. Aharon Applefeld for Hebrew literature; Naomi Shemer, Moshe Wilenski and Haim Heffer who shared the prize for Hebrew song; and Profs. Saul Friedlander and Avron Saltzman for history.

Wilenski and Heffer are composers who have been responsible between them for most of Israel’s favorite contemporary music. Earlier in the day, Heffer and Friedlander were among the thousands of Peace Now demonstrators who protested the establishment of a new civilian settlement, Beracha, on the outskirts of Nablus, the largest Arab city on the West Bank.

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