donderdag 10 december 2009

Zweedse eer voor Israel

Weer eens een ander geluid uit Zweden.
Na de voornamelijk negatieve reacties van Zweden waar het Israel betreft, nu eens een positief geluid.
Deze week worden de Nobelprijzen van dit jaar uitgereikt.
Onder de prijswinnaars bevindt zich de Israelische professor Ada Yonath van het Weitzmann Instituut in Rehovot.
Yonath krijgt de prijs voor baanbrekend onderzoek naar ribosomen.
Koning Karel Gustaf zal Yonath begeleiden en naast haar zitten aan het diner.
Hopelijk kan Yonath hem dan eens bijspreken over Israel en de enorme prestaties van het Weitzmann instituut, dat zijn 60-jarig bestaan vierde in de week dat aanYonath de Nobelprijs werd toegekend. Uit dit instituut komt de ene na de andere technologische ontwikkeling op het gebied van biochemie, fysica, ruimtevaart en medische wetenschappen.
Een andere Nobelprijswinnaar van dit jaar kan dan meteen vertellen waarom Israel zo bezorgd is om de veiligheid van het land en zijn inwoners. 
De Amerikaan George E. Smith, die de Nobelprijs krijgt uitgereikt voor Fysica, kan uit eigen ervaring vertellen wat terreur met een mens doet. Twaalf jaar geleden ontsnapte hij ternauwernood aan een zelfmoord aanslag in Jerusalem waarbij 15 doden vielen.
Misschien kunnen beide winnaars de Zweedse koning bijpraten, want uit eigen land hoort hij alleen maar Israel-bashing.
Ook Obama zal aanwezig zijn voor de ontvangst van zijn prijs.
Het grote verschil met de reeds genoemde prijswinnaars is, dat zij al bewezen hebben die prijs waard te zijn. Van Obama kunnen we alleen maar hopen dat hij nog gaat bewijzen die prijs waardig te zijn.
Jerusalem Post 10/12/09

Nobel Prize winner Yonath to be honored by Swedish king

Israeli Nobel Prize laureate Prof. Ada Yonath has been chosen to sit next to Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf at a ceremonial dinner after the ceremony in Stockholm on Thursday.

Prof. Ada Yonath of the...

Prof. Ada Yonath of the Weizmann Institute of Science smiles as she speaks to the media during a press conference at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Wednesday.
Photo: AP

Yonath, 70, will also be escorted to the ceremony by the monarch, and will make a short speech in the name of all three winners of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2009.

She is sharing the $1.4 million prize for her work on ribosomes with Venkatraman Ramakrishnan from the UK and Thomas Steitz from the US.

Yonath, one of a record five women who were selected by the Nobel Prize committee, told Channel 2 on Wednesday she felt "like Alice in Wonderland" and had received an exceptionally warm welcome from her Swedish hosts.

American George E. Smith, who shares the Nobel Prize in physics, thanked his slow gait for making it possible for him be there. Twelve years ago, he and his wife narrowly avoided a suicide bomb attack that killed 15 people in Jerusalem.

"If we had just been walking a little bit faster I would have never been able to pick up the Nobel Prize," the 79-year-old told The Associated Press. "We were less than 100 meters (330 feet) away and walking towards the place where they blew themselves up."


Smith said it was "marvelous" to get the prize and said he would "never fly in economy class again."

He will share half the 10 million kronor ($1.4 million) award with American Willard S. Boyle for inventing a sensor used in digital cameras. The other half of the physics prize will go to Charles K. Kao, also from the US, for discovering how to transmit light signals long distances through hair-thin glass fibers.

In addition to Mueller, Americans Elizabeth H. Blackburn, 61, and Carol W. Greider, 48, shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine with countryman Jack W. Szostak for their work in solving the mystery of how chromosomes protect themselves from degrading when cells divide.

Elinor Ostrom, 76, made history by being the first woman to win the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, sharing it with fellow American Oliver Williamson for their work in economic governance. The prize is not one of the original Nobels, but was created in 1968 in Nobel's memory by the Swedish central bank.

Also in Stockholm Thursday, Romanian-born author Herta Mueller will receive the Nobel literature award for her critical depiction of life behind the Iron Curtain - work drawn largely from her personal experiences. Mueller's mother spent five years in a communist gulag, and the writer herself was tormented by the Securitate secret police because she refused to become their informant.

"I've had the experience of fear of persecution. It's emotional, it bothers me, it makes me angry," the 56-year-old said at the traditional laureates' news conference before the ceremony.

Mueller said she was very happy to receive the award but wouldn't reveal what she would do with the 10 million kronor ($1.4 million) prize money. "But I'm not buying a yacht so don't worry," she joked.

Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama will receive the peace prize in Oslo, Norway, in line with the 1895 will of prize founder Alfred Nobel.

Nobel's will stipulates that the prizes, first awarded in 1901, should be given to those who "have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind" in their respective fields.

In a controversial choice, the peace prize committee decided to award a national leaders at a very early stage in his tenure - the first time it has done so in the award's 108-year history.

It credited Obama for working toward a world free of nuclear weapons, engaging the US in the fight against global warming and for supporting the United Nations and multilateral diplomacy. Obama said he would accept it "as a call to action, a call for all nations to confront the challenges of the 21st century."

The award ceremonies in Stockholm and Oslo are followed by lavish banquets at which the laureates dine with Scandinavian royals, university professors, politicians and foreign diplomats. In Norway, a traditional Nobel Concert is held a day after the ceremony, featuring international jazz, pop and classical music performers.

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