Christian Tybring-Gjedde, a Norwegian parliamentarian for the right-libertarian Progress Party (FrP), the third-largest in the country's legislature, has put Donald Trump's name forward for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize over brokering a historic peace deal between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel.
Speaking to Fox News earlier this week Tybring-Gjedde, a four-term member of Norway's parliament and chairman of the country's delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, lauded the US president for his effort to resolve the longstanding Middle Eastern conflict.
"For his merit, I think he has done more trying to create peace between nations than most other Peace Prize nominees", the Norwegian politician opined.
Trump First US President Since Carter Who Hasn't Started New Conflict
This is Tybring-Gjedde's second attempt to nominate the US incumbent president for the Nobel Peace Prize: previously he put Trump's candidacy forward in 2018 for the latter's initiative to mend fences between North and South Korea. Under the Norwegian Nobel Committee's rules, any nominations are accepted from the country's top politicians and parliamentarians.
"As the nominating letter explains, President Trump is the first American president since Carter to hold power without starting a new conflict. For this alone he deserves close consideration", says Wall Street analyst Charles Ortel while commenting on the Norwegian's move.
Ortel highlights that crafting peace deals between Israel and the UAE, and then Bahrain are remarkable achievements, "particularly understanding that lifelong diplomats from many nations have gotten nowhere slowly in the Middle East". On 11 September, Donald Trump announced that Bahrain is due to follow in the UAE's footsteps and sign a peace agreement with the Jewish state.
Another HISTORIC breakthrough today! Our two GREAT friends Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain agree to a Peace Deal – the second Arab country to make peace with Israel in 30 days!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 11, 2020
The importance of the UAE-Israeli accords can hardly be overestimated, acknowledges Israeli political analyst and publicist Avigdor Eskin emphasising that there is no doubt that President Trump deserves the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in the Middle East.
"The treaty between Israel and UAE will open the gate for constructive and friendly relations in the broadest sense", the publicist foresees. "This will include tourism, cultural and academic exchange and economic cooperation. This is much more than the treaty with Egypt which remains a cold and limited peace deal".
Most Arab states have boycotted Israel since the foundation of the Jewish state, making the settlement of the Palestinian dispute the major condition for a potential reconciliation. The UAE has become the third Arab country, after Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994, to formally normalise its relationship with Israel. The signing ceremony of the Abraham Accord is due to take place on 15 September in the White House. For its part, Bahrain will become the fourth Arab nation to sign a peace deal with Israel and the second within a month.
Apart from the peace treaty, Trump should also be celebrated for the lowest violence rate between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs, according to Eskin, who insists that the placement of the US Embassy in Jerusalem and the recognition of Jerusalem as the Jewish state's capital have "contributed greatly to peace and security".
Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize
Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, received a Nobel Peace Prize in December 2009 for his "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between people", the same year he took the reins of US politics. However, later, former Nobel secretary Geir Lundestad admitted that he regretted Obama's selection. "Even many of Obama's supporters believed that the prize was a mistake" Lundestad told the Associated Press in September 2015. "In that sense the committee didn't achieve what it had hoped for".
"Without his Nobel, Obama might have used his store of goodwill to stamp out slavery worldwide", Charles Ortel remarks. "Instead, large open air slave markets operate in plain view in Libya, a nation whose leader he overthrew in defiance of our US Congress, and of common sense. Across the Middle East, because of turmoil that he, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry stoked, refugees streamed westward into Europe causing grief, hardship and violence in nations that welcomed unvetted immigrants".
According to the Wall Street analyst, in four years President Trump "has done much to reverse the huge damage of the Obama presidency".
"The facts are clear: Obama is responsible directly and indirectly to the terrible bloodshed in the Middle East", echoes Avigdor Eskin.
If one compares the two leaders, Obama and Trump, one would have no doubt that the latter is a top contender for the peace prize, the observers believe.
Chances That Trump Will Get Prize for UAE-Israel Pact are Minimal
"The Norwegian parliamentarian's initiative to nominate Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize is a spotlight turned at a sensational deal of the century: a seemingly inconceivable strategic alliance between two former enemies - the Sunni Arab world and Israel, which since its inception has been seen by the Sunni Arab Islam as an extraneous body in the Middle East", highlights Nelly Gutina, an Israeli author and political commentator.
Nevertheless, she doubts that the Norwegian Nobel Committee will award Trump for this particular deal, as the Abraham Accord "refutes the paradigm that has been at the heart of world politics for decades".
Under this paradigm, peace in the Middle East is regarded as unattainable without the solution of the Palestinian problem, which has become an "idee fixe" of international diplomacy, as well as a "perpetuum mobile" generating numerous "peace initiatives", summits, conferences, cocktails, and cash flows, she points out. However, the more summits are held, the more distant the solution of the Middle Eastern problems becomes, the Israeli political commentator admits.
Therefore, once Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and President Donald Trump came up with a workable solution which could pave the way to a longstanding peace in the Middle East, they were immediately subjected to criticism, Gutina points out, bemoaning the fact that the Israeli "deep state" also rushed to look for "hidden flaws" in the historic deal.
"The opposition to awarding Trump will be enormous", predicts Avigdor Eskin, referring to a deep polarisation within the US and European political establishments.
For his part, Ortel draws attention to the politicisation of the Nobel Peace Prize over the last three decades. "Let us hope the Nobel Committee will weigh candidates fairly", he concludes.