Outgoing German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel will receive an honorary doctorate from Haifa’s Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in a ceremony on Sunday, October 10th, in Jerusalem, Israel. The ceremony will take place as part of Merkel’s upcoming visit to Israel on the heels of the election to choose her successor.
She will be awarded the honorary doctorate for her support of Israel, unwavering fight against antisemitism, her strong backing of science and education particularly of scientific collaboration between Germany and Israel; and for her exemplary leadership, wisdom, and humanity, said Technion president Prof. Uri Sivan. He added that “Dr. Merkel is a true leader, constantly striving to improve the lives of millions worldwide.”
An honorary doctorate is the highest honor bestowed by the Technion upon the few who distinguished themselves through their outstanding scientific work or their leadership and public service to the benefit of Israel, the Jewish people, and humanity at large. Some notable examples include Chaim Weizmann (1952), Albert Einstein (1953), Niels Bohr (1958), David Ben-Gurion (1962), Yitzhak Rabin (1990) and Margaret Thatcher (1989) – who are now joined by Chancellor Merkel, arguably the most revered, influential leader of our time.
A scientist with a doctoral degree in natural sciences from the German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, Merkel published several papers on quantum chemistry prior to embarking on a political career. She decided voluntarily to retire from politics this month, having been in office for 16 years.
“Chancellor Merkel’s path has taken her from a brilliant scientific career in quantum chemistry to an unparalleled political legacy at a time of tectonic changes starting with the end of the Cold War, the fall of the Soviet Union, and the unification of Germany,” said Sivan. “Under her leadership, Merkel navigated Europe through a global economic crisis and displayed great humanity to those who were displaced by civil wars and other armed conflicts in the Middle East and Africa.”
He went on to say that “as a true leader, constantly striving to improve the lives of millions worldwide, Chancellor Merkel never avoided publicly facing the harsh and uncomfortable realities of global and domestic challenges. She has done so while never forgetting the true meaning of compassion and social responsibility. We salute you for what you have given Germany, Israel and the world. We are forever grateful.”
Born in 1954, Merkel started her political career in 1989 following the fall of the Berlin Wall. She chaired the Christian Democratic Union Party from 2000 to 2018 and has served as Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany since 2005. Throughout her career, Merkel emphasized international cooperation. She has been described as the de facto leader of the European Union. The New York Times called her “The Liberal West’s Last Defender.” Merkel has voiced support for Israel on many occasions and has spoken out against antisemitism. Congratulating the new Israeli government in June 2021, Merkel said that Germany and Israel are “connected by a unique friendship that we want to further strengthen.”