In the view of the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, bringing young people together in the two countries is a key prerequisite for the future of German-Israeli friendship. German and Israeli culture professionals and academics exchanged ideas even before diplomatic relations were established between the two countries. This exchange is the foundation of the dense network of the very diverse contacts and cooperation partnerships that exists today. On Monday evening (8 October), Heiko Maas presented the Shimon Peres Prize to two such cooperation projects run by young people. This was the the second year in which the Prize was awarded.
Young, creative and diverse
The Caravan Orchester is a German-Israeli music project in which young Jewish and Arab Israelis and European musicians participate. They have designed a concert programme together and have gone on tour with it in Israel and Germany.
The other project is a German-Israeli documentary “Out of Place”, which portrays people on the margins of society and their longing for social harmony. Twenty young German and Israeli film-makers worked together on this project.
The two cooperation projects examine topical social issues in their own unique way while involving the public. Their achievements go beyond the projects themselves and are relevant to the society of the future. This is in keeping with the central idea behind the Prize: young people are to be encouraged to work together in many different ways in the spirit of Shimon Peres for a better future, for better interaction between Germans and Israelis and to allow them to turn their dreams into reality.
In memory of a Nobel Peace Prize laureate
More than two years after the death of Shimon Peres, an independent jury selected the recipients from a large number of applications. The Prize named after Shimon Peres is funded by the Federal Foreign Office and was awarded for the second time in cooperation with the German-Israeli Future Forum Foundation. During his term as Foreign Minister, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier launched an initiative to establish the Shimon Peres Prize, with the aim of paying tribute to Shimon Peres’ lasting importance for German-Israeli relations and to his regional and global peace initiatives. The prize is presented to young professionals from Germany and Israel who work together to foster the future of the bilateral relations.