JERUSALEM – The Nobel Peace Prize for 2020 was not – repeat, not – awarded today to the signers of the Abraham Accords.
How is that possible?
On Sept. 15 on the South Lawn of the White House, the first Arab-Israeli peace treaties in more than a quarter of a century were signed.
Not just a peace treaty between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, but also a peace treaty between Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain.
How is it possible that this year’s Nobel Peace Prize was not awarded to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed (MBZ), Bahrain’s King Hamad and American President Donald Trump, who brokered the deals?
Instead, “the Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2020 to the World Food Programme (WFP) for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict,” stated the Committee in a press release.
Don’t get me wrong. The WFP does important work, and I happen to personally know and highly regard its director, former South Carolina Governor David Beasley.
Indeed, what the Nobel Committee noted about the WFP today is true.
“The World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organisation addressing hunger and promoting food security. In 2019, the WFP provided assistance to close to 100 million people in 88 countries who are victims of acute food insecurity and hunger. In 2015, eradicating hunger was adopted as one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The WFP is the UN’s primary instrument for realising this goal. In recent years, the situation has taken a negative turn. In 2019, 135 million people suffered from acute hunger, the highest number in many years.”
Nevertheless, the WFP does such excellent work every year.
I can support the organization receiving a Nobel prize in any other year.
But it is outlandish that the five-member Nobel Committee deliberately refused to grant its esteemed Peace Prize to Arab, Israeli and American leaders who actually signed historic peace deals just last month.
It is, after all, a peace prize.
Why ignore leaders who are making peace in the most war-torn area of the world?
The most likely reason is that the Committee did not want to say or do anything that would honor the role of President Trump in helping broker these dramatic agreements.
Just as likely, the Committee did not want to say or do anything that would honor the role of Prime Minister Netanyahu.
To say that neither leaders are popular in Oslo, Norway, would be a gross understatement.
Regardless, these men – along with Crown Prince MBZ and King Hamad – did something precious few world leaders or Mideast analysts thought was possible.
The signing of the Abraham Accords, indeed, is the single most positive international development of 2020, an otherwise dreadful year for the world.
The Nobel Peace Prize Committee has become an embarrassment.
If they are not going to honor leaders who actually make peace – peace between Arabs and Israelis, no less – they should disband the organization entirely.
Joel C. Rosenberg is the editor-in-chief of ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and the President and CEO of Near East Media. A New York Times best-selling author, Middle East analyst, and Evangelical leader, he lives in Jerusalem with his wife and sons.