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Hebrew U. expert wins Israel Prize for raising awareness of Hamas atrocities

Cochav Elkayam-Levy has been awarded the Jewish state's top honor for her work to raise global awareness regarding Hamas's Oct. 7 crimes.

Cochav Elkayam-Levy. Source: LinkedIn.
Cochav Elkayam-Levy. Source: LinkedIn.

Cochav Elkayam-Levy has been awarded the Israel Prize in the field of Solidarity (Arvut Hadadit) for her work to raise global awareness and acknowledgement of the crimes committed by Hamas on and following Oct. 7.

Elkayam-Levy, a legal expert from the Davis Institute for International Relations at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, established the “Civil Commission on October 7th Crimes by Hamas against Women and Children,” aimed at giving voice to the victims and their families.

“I am humbled and grateful to receive the Israel Prize and wish to express my sincere gratitude to the award committee and the minister of education [Yoav Kisch] for bestowing upon me this esteemed honor,” Elkayam-Levy told JNS on Thursday.

“It is with great privilege that we work to raise awareness and give voice to the silenced victims and families whose lives were shattered by the Oct. 7 atrocities. I am deeply thankful for the opportunity to advocate for the rights of women, children and families worldwide,” she continued.

“We must stand firm against the stark denial and the increasing tide of antisemitism. I also want to express my heartfelt gratitude to the numerous individuals who have tirelessly dedicated themselves to this vital cause alongside me. This privilege is both an honor and a responsibility that I hold with utmost dedication,” she added.

In December, Elkayam-Levy met in Washington with senior White House officials, including Jennifer Klein, assistant to the president and director of the gender policy council.

“During the meeting, Elyakam-Levy spoke about her work to gather testimony and document evidence of the events of Oct. 7 and develop a comprehensive accounting of gender-based violence committed by Hamas,” according to the White House.

Earlier in December, Elkayam-Levy led some 150 protesters in a demonstration in front of U.N. headquarters before the start of an event sponsored by the Israeli mission, called “Hear Our Voices: Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in the Oct. 7 Hamas Attack.”

“When the institutions that are globally mandated to protect women stay silent, not only does international law lose meaning, humanity’s shared values lose meaning,” Elkayam-Levy said at the rally.

In the Israel Prize committee’s deliberations, it was underscored that Elkayam-Levy’s unwavering commitment and dedication propelled her to take action both nationally and internationally, culminating in the establishment of a Civil Commission dedicated to promoting human rights and gender equality.

“Dr. Elkayam-Levy’s work in the international arena to expose the atrocities of Hamas is a crucial pillar in our ongoing struggle for justice and in our efforts to confront the perpetrators,” said Education Minister Kish.

“Congratulations on winning the prize, Dr. Elkayam-Levy. The people of Israel deeply value your work and extend their heartfelt gratitude to you,” he added.

Prof. Asher Cohen, president of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, added: “[Elkayam-Levy’s] relentless dedication has served as a powerful catalyst for justice and remembrance, inspiring us all to confront adversity with courage and compassion. We congratulate Dr. Cochav Elkayam-Levy on being awarded the Israel Prize, the state’s highest honor, in a testament to her unwavering commitment to shedding light on one of the darkest chapters of our shared humanity.”

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