The Menachem Begin Heritage Center awarded NGO Monitor the Begin Prize Wednesday night for "the organization's efforts exposing the political agenda and ideological bias of humanitarian organizations that use the discourse of human rights to discredit Israel and to undermine its position among the nations of the world."
The award was also given to Abraham Foxman for his work as Anti-Defamation League director and to iconic Israeli actor Chaim Topol for founding and running the Jordan River Village camp for kids suffering from serious illnesses.
"NGO Monitor humbly appreciates the recognition by the Begin Heritage Center for our contributions and years of hard work," NGO Monitor founder and president Professor Gerald Steinberg said in a statement after being named the recipient of the award. "Menachem Begin fought against the moral hypocrisy that denied the Jewish nation the same rights granted to others, including self-defense and sovereign equality in our homeland. In this spirit, NGO Monitor was founded to expose and end the double standards among powerful organizations that exploit the banners of human rights and democracy."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a video message congratulating the winners. Netanyahu mentioned Yehiel Kadishai, considered Menachem Begin's right-hand man, who had passed away in November. "I was happy to hear that NGO Monitor and Foxman won the prize. You are true fighters against the anti-Israel delegitimization campaign. Topol was awarded for his dedication and contribution," Netanyahu said.