Israel's prime minister is facing accusations of politicizing the country's most prestigious award after moving to disqualify some of the judges because he disagreed with their political views.

A number of judges for the Israel Prize have resigned in protest, while nominees say they won't accept the prize. One of the nominees, author David Grossman, told Channel 10 TV on Thursday that he pulled out in response to the "prime minister's campaign of incitement," calling it an attack on "freedom of thought."

Netanyahu recently rejected the nominations of two judges in the literature category. In a Facebook post, he said the panel is controlled by judges with "extremist views," such as encouraging soldiers not to serve in the army. He said the committee needs to reflect the wider public.