TEL AVIV-JAFFA, June 18, 2012—The Institute of International Education (IIE) announced today that Attorney Hassan Jabareen, the founder and General Director of Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, and Attorney Dan Yakir, the Chief Legal Counsel at The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), have been selected to receive the 2012 Victor J. Goldberg IIE Prize for Peace in the Middle East. The award, which includes a $10,000 prize, will be presented at a June 26 ceremony at the American Corner /Arab Jewish Community Center in Jaffa, hosted by IIE in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv.
IIE Trustee Victor J. Goldberg said, “This award recognizes innovation, and rewards those who are courageous and committed enough to work together to overcome the religious, cultural, ethnic, and political issues which divide the Middle East. We hope that the dedication shown by our prize winners will inspire others to join together across these divides to advance the cause of peace in the coming years.”
Ms. Hilary Olsin-Windecker, Counselor for Public Affairs, will speak on behalf of the U.S. Embassy, and Mr. Goldberg and Dr. Allan E. Goodman, IIE’s President and CEO, will present the prize.
According to Dr. Goodman, “The winners we celebrate each year exemplify the kinds of joint action that are needed to resolve conflicts in this region and around the world. They embody Vic Goldberg’s long-time commitment to bettering the world through international cooperation.”
Mr. Jabareen, an Arab citizen of Israel, and Mr. Yakir, a Jewish citizen of Israel, have been selected to receive the Goldberg Prize in recognition of their work together in promoting equal rights for Arab citizens in Israel, in the belief that protecting the rights of Israel’s Arab citizens is crucial to preserving peace and stability. As legal leaders of Adalah and ACRI, they are working together to use the Israeli legal system to foster a just and tolerant society, in which Jewish and Arab citizens can live as equals.
Both winners were law fellows in the New Israel Fund Civil Liberties Law Fellows Program of the Washington College of Law at American University, where they received Master of Law degrees. They have demonstrated a unique ability to work together to bring the perspective of both Jewish and Arab citizens before the Israeli Supreme Court. In 2011, the New Israel Fund presented Mr. Jabareen with the Herman Schwartz Award for human rights lawyering and Mr. Yakir with the Guardian of Human Rights Prize. Their work in advancing the rights of Palestinians has been called a critical link to achieving the reconciliation and positive engagement that is needed to advance peace in the region.
A leading human rights lawyer in Israel, Hassan Jabareen founded Adalah (which means Justice in the Arabic language) in 1996, the first Arab-run legal center in Israel. He regularly litigates landmark constitutional rights cases before the Israeli Supreme Court using Israeli domestic law and international human rights standards to seek to achieve equal rights for Arab citizens. He also teaches in the law faculties of Tel Aviv and Haifa universities. Prior to founding Adalah, he worked for four years as a Staff Attorney with the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI). Under Mr. Jabareen’s leadership, Adalah received UN ECOSOC status, the Civil Rights Award of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), and the award for NGO excellence and good governance from the Welfare Association. Mr. Jabareen received the First Annual Peter Cicchino Award for Outstanding Advocacy in the Public Interest in 2000. In 2005 he was selected as a Yale World Fellow.
Mr. Yakir has held the position of Chief Legal Counsel at ACRI, a preeminent human rights and civil liberties organization in Israel, since 1995. He began at the organization in 1989 as an attorney. He has since brought a wide variety of precedent-setting cases to Israel’s Supreme Court and is recognized as one of Israel’s leading human rights lawyers. Landmark rulings achieved as a result of Mr. Yakir’s litigation cover issues such as the ban on the use of physical force as an accepted interrogation method employed by the security services and the prohibition on discrimination against Arab citizens in the allocation of state lands. This year, ACRI was awarded the Gruber Justice Prize in recognition of the decades-long legacy of excellent legal advocacy and strategic litigation for human rights. In July 2007, Mr. Yakir was awarded the New Israel Fund UK Human Rights Award in recognition of his outstanding accomplishments in the field of human rights and civil liberties in Israel.
Working together, the partnership between Mr. Jabareen and Mr. Yakir has forged new ground both legally and in public discourse and impact, drawing upon their professionalism and unyielding commitment, and the respect they have earned from the Arab and Jewish Israeli public and officials.
IIE, a non-profit organization founded in 1919 and headquartered in New York City, created the Goldberg IIE Prize with an endowment from IIE’s Executive Committee member and former Vice Chairman, Victor J. Goldberg. The Selection Committee for the Prize includes leading experts from academia, the non-profit sector, and government.
The co-founders of the Arab Jewish Community Center in Jaffa, Ibrahim Abu Shindi and Hadas Kaplan, received the Goldberg IIE Prize in 2006 for their pioneering work in creating an innovative and sustainable community organization that works to promote inter-cultural dialogue, co-existence, and community empowerment in its mixed Jewish and Arab Israeli neighborhood.
Visit the Goldberg IIE Prize site for more information on all of the past winners
About the Institute of International Education
The Institute of International Education (IIE) is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 18 offices worldwide and over 1,000 member institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations, and corporations. IIE also conducts policy research and program evaluations, and provides advising and counseling on international education and opportunities abroad.
About Victor J. Goldberg
Victor J. Goldberg retired from IBM in 1993 as a corporate vice president after a 34-year career at the company. Mr. Goldberg received both his undergraduate and his M.B.A. degrees from Northwestern University. He joined the Board of Trustees of the Institute of International Education in 1979, is a member of its Executive Committee and served for 13 years as vice chairman of the Board. He is a trustee of the International Fellowship Program, a Ford Foundation initiative for underserved populations around the world, and also serves on the Westchester County Fair Campaign Practices Committee and the board of Education Through Music.
About the Prize
The Institute of International Education awards the Victor J. Goldberg IIE Prize for Peace in the Middle East annually to recognize outstanding work being conducted jointly by two individuals, one Arab and one Israeli, working together to advance the cause of peace in the Middle East. The two individuals whose work is judged to be most successful in bringing people together and breaking down the barriers of hatred toward “the other” share a $10,000 prize.
The Selection Committee for the Prize includes leaders from business, academia, the not-for-profit sector, and government. Chaired by Thomas S. Johnson, the Chairman of IIE’s Board of Trustees and retired Chairman and CEO of GreenPoint Financial Corporation, the committee includes: Lisa Anderson, President of the American University in Cairo; Susan Berresford, former President of the Ford Foundation; Peter Edelman, Co-Director of the Joint Degree in Law and Public Policy and Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center and past Board President of the New Israel Fund; Kenton Keith, retired Senior Vice President of the Meridian International Center, Former Ambassador to Qatar and Director of USIA’s Office of North African, Near Eastern, and South Asian Affairs; Maisa Galal, Director of Human Resources, General Motors Egypt; and Harold Tanner, an investment banker and former President of the American Jewish Committee and head of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
The Goldberg IIE Prize was first awarded in 2005 to professors Dan Bar-On and Sami Adwan, for their shared history project, “Learning Each Other’s Historical Narrative”. Subsequent winners included: Ibrahim Abu Shindi and Hadas Kaplan, for their Arab Jewish Community Center in Jaffa (2006); Amin Khalaf and Lee Gordon, founders of Hand in Hand: Center for Jewish-Arab Education in Israel (2007); Aziz Abu Sarah and Lily Jaffe (2008) of Family Forum/The Parents Circle, for conducting educational activities that draw on the experiences of bereaved Palestinian and Israeli families who have lost immediate family members to the violence in the region; Nimrod Goren, Director of the Young Israeli Forum for Cooperation, and Hakam Jadallah, Director of the Palestinian Youth Forum for Cooperation, for their initiative, Fresh Start (2009); Avner Wishnitzer and Bassam Aramin, for co-founding and leading the organization Combatants for Peace (2010); and to Amal Elsana Alh’jooj and Vivian Silver, for their work as Co-Executive Directors of the Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development (NISPED).