Former White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and his deputy, Avi Berkowitz, have been nominated for the Nobel peace prize for their role in negotiating four normalisation deals between Israel and Arab nations known as the “Abraham Accords”.
The two former deputies to then-President Donald Trump were nominated by American attorney Alan Dershowitz, who was eligible to do so in his capacity as a professor emeritus of Harvard Law School. Dershowitz defended Trump in his first impeachment trial last year and told the Wall Street Journal on 20 January that the Senate should dismiss the article of impeachment against the former president, as he was no longer in office.
Among others nominated for the prize this year are Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, the World Health Organization and climate campaigner Greta Thunberg. All were backed by Norwegian lawmakers who have a track record of picking the winner.
The deals were announced in a four-month span between mid-August and mid-December and were the most significant diplomatic breakthroughs in the Middle East in 25 years as the region girds for a prolonged confrontation with Iran.
In his letter to the Nobel committee, Dershowitz also cited the work of former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and former Israeli ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer in the normalization deals. He seemed to suggest his nomination could be controversial.
“The Nobel Peace Prize is not for popularity. Nor is it an assessment of what the international community may think of those who helped bring about peace. It is an award for fulfilling the daunting criteria set out by Alfred Nobel in his will,” he wrote.