President Obama's Nobel Prize wasn't the only controversy over the award this weekend. National Review Online reports that the popular British newspaper, The Guardian, "wiped Israel off the Nobel Prize map, much as Iranian despot Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would like to wipe Israel off the real map." Putting aside the melodramatics, the controversy is very real.
As part of their coverage, The Guardian published a list of all Nobel Peace Prize laureates to put Obama's prize in context. Unfortunately, they left out all three Israelis who have won the Peace Prize: Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres. Anwar Sadat, who won the prize with Begin, and Yasser Arafat, who won the prize with Rabin and Peres, were not omitted. Oddly, The Guardian forgot to delete "Israel" when removing the names of the Israelis, leaving the country's name next to the listings for Sadat and Arafat.
The National Review does not seem surprised by the controversy, calling the move one of many "KGB-style" attempts to "mislead readers about Israel on a regular basis." On one hand, I can't imagine the paper thought they could so blatantly misrepresent history without getting caught. On the other hand, it does seem odd that they omitted all Israeli recipients from multiple years, as opposed to the innocent mistake of forgetting one. Whether it's accidental malpractice or deliberate malfeasance, it's disheartening either way.
Regardless, the Guardian cannot deny the stunning performance of Israelis in the fields of science. Dan Ben-David writes in Haaretz that, since 2000, Israel has won three times as many scientific Nobel Prizes per capita than any other country. The United Kingdom ranks fifth, behind Israel, New Zealand, Norway and the United States.