No, there is not a “media blackout” in Israel on a “Nobel prize winner.”

*** UPDATE***

After this report below, the headline at +972 was changed and an editors note and correction was appended. +972 should be applauded for making the change quickly and for recognizing it. Media has a responsibility to make these kinds of changes.

[Editor’s note: The headline and introductory text of this article have been changed to clarify who won the Nobel Prize this year. See full correction below.]

A previous version of the headline, sub-head, and introductory text of this article erroneously suggested that Sharon Dolev and the Israeli Disarmament Movement won the Nobel Peace Prize. While the Israeli movement is a member of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, it is the international campaign that won the Nobel. The Israeli movement is one of hundreds of local movements and organizations that comprise the international campaign. None of those organizations or the individuals behind them won the prize, but rather the campaign as a whole. The mistake was due to an editing and translation error. The interview itself has not been modified.



An Israeli woman “won a Nobel Peace Prize” and “no one is talking about,” claims an article at +972. That’s pretty shocking. I clicked to read the article. It claims: “Sharon Dolev won the Nobel Peace Prize earlier this month for her work on nuclear disarmament. Despite the media blackout in Israel, and the reluctance to even touch the subject, she remains steadfast in her belief that a regional nuclear pact is on its way.”

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Screenshot of +972 article

So why would Israel media do a “blackout” on this story. The article claims. “This was especially strange considering the fact that one of the recipients is an Israeli, and the newspapers here never miss an opportunity to gush whenever a Jewish person wins the award.” The article goes on: “I spoke to Dolev, the Israeli prize winner who established the The Israeli Disarmament movement.” In the interview Dolev suggests that Israel media is involved in “Self-censorship. The fear of speaking about something they do not understand.” She goes on to note “The ceremony itself was very touching. I could not travel to Oslo, but I watched the broadcast.”

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Screenshot of +972 article

I wanted to know more, so I Googled “Sharon Dolev Nobel Prize.” The only major article was the one from +972. One would think that the name would appear elsewhere.

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My Google search on December 26, 2017


So I went to the website of the Nobel Peace Prize. The website says that the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) won the 2017 prize. It says the organization was founded in 2007 in Australia. Not Israel. It says ICAN won the prize “for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons.”

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Nobel Prize website

So that’s interesting. Now I went to the website of ICAN to see if an Israeli is listed there as a winner. It doesn’t list Dolev, but it does list Israel as one of the 100 countries that has partner organizations. ICAN notes: “Any non-government organization is eligible to become an ICAN partner organization. No joining fee or annual subscription is required, although financial and other relevant contributions are welcome.”

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One of many organizations in 100 countries

I scrolled down to “Israel” and found that the Israel Disarmament Movement is listed. The Physicians for Peace and the Preservation of the Environment ( IPPNW-Israel) is also listed. Then I went to the website of the Israel Disarmament Movement.

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Screenshot of webpage of Disarmament Movement

Here I finally found the subject of the +972 article.

Is this really a “media blackout,” that Israel media didn’t report on this? What about the other Israeli organization that is a partner of ICAN. The fact that any organization can become a partner organization doesn’t mean that everyone associated with that partner is a “winner” of a Nobel Prize. If a University wins a Nobel Prize, does every faculty member and student and affiliate of the University also “win.”

No one in Israel is talking about this because Israel didn’t win anything, Israelis didn’t win, they were one of many hundreds of partners of a large umbrella organization that won. The European Union won the Nobel Prize in 2012. By the logic of this article that means every country in the EU won it, and maybe every citizen too? A lesson in looking beneath a headline.

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