At a ceremony held on December 4, 2013, NGO Monitor was awarded the Begin Heritage Center’s prestigious Begin Prize in recognition of its “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.”
Founder and President Prof. Gerald Steinberg received the award in the presence of Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Minister of Agriculture Yair Shamir, Begin Prize Committee chairman and former MK Moshe Nissim, and other distinguished leaders.
In Hebrew video remarks (see below) aired at the ceremony, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated NGO Monitor saying, “I was pleased to hear that the prize this year was awarded to NGO Monitor, headed by Prof. Gerald Steinberg… You are doing important work in Israel and the world against the campaign of deliberate delegitimization, and against of the foundations that underpin the State of Israel.”
The prime minister lauded NGO Monitor’s “continuing and unending efforts to combat antisemitism that has never disappeared from the world… the phenomena of anti-Zionism and racism that is being revived… and ongoing and unending efforts to end the campaign of defame Israel.”
The Prime Minister also congratulated Abe Foxman of the ADL and actor Chaim Topol, who were also honored by the Begin Center.
Upon receiving the award Professor Steinberg said, “we are profoundly honored to receive the Menachem Begin Prize. The Jewish, Zionist and democratic values that we promote are the same values that were central to Begin’s heritage. Begin insisted on speaking truth to power, beginning in his days as a prisoner in the Soviet gulag… through his days in the underground and culminating in his service as Prime Minister…. In the spirit of Hanukkah, we, at NGO Monitor, are here to ‘banish the darkness’, and promote transparency and moral accountability among these NGOs.”
Professor Steinberg concluded by thanking the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, past and present employees of NGO Monitor, and NGO Monitor’s board members and donors.