U.S. prof. gives Israeli prize money to Palestinian university
The American mathematician David Mumford, co-winner of the 2008 Wolf Foundation Prize in Mathematics, announced upon receiving the award yesterday that he will donate the money to Bir Zeit University, near Ramallah, and to Gisha, an Israeli organization that advocates for Palestinian freedom of movement.
"I decided to donate my share of the Wolf Prize to enable the academic community in occupied Palestine to survive and thrive," Mumford told Haaretz. "I am very grateful for the prize, but I believe that Palestinian students should have an opportunity to go elsewhere to acquire an education. Students in the West Bank and Gaza today do not have an opportunity to do that."
The Wolf Foundation awards prizes of $100,000 each year "to outstanding scientists and artists for achievements in the interest of mankind and friendly relations among peoples," its web site says. It is considered one of the most prestigious international honors in mathematics.