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Merkel's prize

January 20, 2011

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been honored by the American Jewish Committee for her "outspoken support" of the Jewish people and Israel. She was given the Light Unto the Nations award on Thursday.

Chancellor Angela Merkel
Merkel was praised for campaigning for human rightsImage: AP

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) has honored German Chancellor Angela Merkel with their Light Unto the Nations award, in recognition of her support of Israel and the Jewish people as a whole.

The AJC's executive director David Harris presented Merkel with the award at the chancellery in Berlin on Thursday.

In a statement, Harris praised Merkel's "outspoken support for the Jewish people, the state of Israel" and her commitment to battling anti-Semitism.

"The values of human freedom and human dignity are hallmarks of [Merkel's] leadership," Harris said.

The chancellor thanked the AJC for the honor and said she felt a responsibility to make sure there was a "historical memory" in the minds of the German youth.

Accepting the prize, she said that people in Israel "must be able to live in a Jewish state, in freedom and security, with secure borders."

Previous recipients of the prize include former US President Bill Clinton, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.

Author: Catherine Bolsover (AP/KNA)
Editor: Rob Turner