Womens prize given to Jew, Suha Arafat

Zevi, among Italy's leading women, was cited as "an ideal representative of the commitment devoted by Jews throughout the world to the peace process."

Zevi said she had an "interesting encounter" with Arafat's wife, Suha, during a Rome awards ceremony last week and exchanged hopes that difficulties in the peace process could be overcome.

The wife of former New York governor Mario Cuomo was also a recipient.