Historian talks Nobel rot

October 11, 2013

The latest crop of Nobel winners reminded me of a lecture given by the late Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm a few years ago, when he dismissed Zionism as a backward step, contrasting the Nobel prizes won by diaspora Jews with the supposed lack of them by Israelis.

In fact, an Israeli won a Nobel that very year. Half of the eight Israelis recognised for literature, economics or science (and excluding awards for peace) won their Nobel since his comments — and seven have come since 2000. Of the five Jewish award-winners announced this week, one is from Israel and another taught there.

Last updated: 1:49pm, October 11 2013