Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and United Arab Emirates Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Lord William David Trimble of Northern Ireland.
The UAE announced back in August its intent to recognize Israel and formalize diplomatic ties. Later Bahrain and Sudan also joined the Abraham Accords.
Trimble is himself a Nobel Laureate, having received the Peace Prize in 1998 for efforts he made to bring the longstanding internecine conflicts in Northern Ireland to an end. Some analysts pointed out that will make the Nobel Prize Committee more likely to seriously consider this nomination.
By contrast, U.S. President Donald Trump, who was intimately involved in brokering the Abraham Accords which formalized the normalization of relations between Israel and the UAE, was nominated for the Peace Prize in September but did not receive it.
Similarly, former President Jimmy Carter failed to get the Prize despite brokering the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt in 1979, while Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat did receive the Nobel Peace Prize for signing that agreement.
In a related development, Joe Biden, the apparent president-elect, was also nominated for the prize for what the nominating party described as his “calming influence” on the world. Ultimately the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize was granted to the United Nation’s World Food Program.
The Abraham Accords have already led to the signing of several bi-lateral agreements between Israel and the UAE and a number of large business deals between private interests in the two countries. However, it has also resulted in condemnations from several Arab and Islamic governments and prominent individuals. The Financial Times reported this week that 17 former winners of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) and the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, which are both sponsored by the UAE government, have called for a the committee which administers the prizes to stop taking funding from the UAE in order to “maintain independence.”
“I used to have great cultural contacts in the UAE over the years, had many Emirati friends and took part in many activities, book fairs and festivals in the country,” Palestinian academic and author Khaled Hroub, a founding member of the IPAF, told the Financial Times. "These activities have certainly contributed to the Arab cultural scene. But all this has now been thrown into uncertainty and replaced by Israel."
These sentiments have been echoed by several other Arab and Islamic cultural figures, but the UAE government has thus far shrugged off these protests and has already signed cooperation agreements with several Israeli cultural institutions.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.