MK tries to block award for Amos Oz

Other NRP members urged Oz to apologize for what he wrote but did not call for the prize to be rescinded.

Education Minister Yitzhak Levy said what Oz had written was serious and "deserves a strong rebuke" but added he was not convinced of the need to petition the court.

Authors and politicians who came to Oz's defense said the essay had criticized extremists and not the entire settlement movement.

The essay — written in the aftermath of the 1983 murder of peace activist Emil Grunzweig — warns then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin and the chief rabbis that they could be victims of the next assassination.

Grunzweig was killed by a grenade thrown into the crowd at a Peace Now rally.

"If you don't rise and call a murder a murder, then you too shall not be immune from the murderers' bullets. There in the darkness already lurks someone who sees you, too, as traitors; there lurks one who has let your blood, too," Oz wrote.

"What Oz wrote was prophetic," Labor Knesset member Avraham Shohat said Monday. "If we had heeded Oz's call then, six and a half years before Rabin's assassination, we could have prevented the awful assassination."

Israel Prize committee member Professor Yehuda Friedlander said that political views should not figure in a decision about awarding a literary prize.

Novelist Eli Amir denounced the attempt to take the prize from Oz as "a political battle to delegitimize Oz and the entire peace camp."