On Sept. 9, far-right Norwegian Politician Christian Tybring-Giedde nominated President Donald J. Trump for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize in honor of his recent role in the Abraham Accords, a peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. According to President Trump, the Abraham Accord marks a “historical peace agreement” between these two countries.
A member of the Swedish Parliament, Magnus Johnson, agrees with Tybring-Giedde that the show of leadership from President Trump deserves an award. He announced on Friday, Sept. 11, that he was nominating the Trump administration and the two Middle Eastern nations for the Nobel Peace Prize as well. However, there are two problems with these two nominations: the Abraham Accord is overhyped, and Trump definitely doesn’t deserve the Nobel Peace Prize.
Calling the Abraham Accord a peace agreement is a bit of an overstatement. Technically, Israel and the United Arab Emirates were never at war with one another. Sure, they had a pretty rocky relationship, but that relationship has been improving steadily throughout the years. If anything, this “peace agreement” was a long time coming. There is no denying, however, that the Abraham Accord will improve relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates significantly. But for President Trump to claim it as a “historical peace agreement”? That is a highly doubtful statement.
While on the topic of President Trump, how did he get qualified to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, when there is anything but peace in his country right now? According to the Nobel Prize official website, any nomination made by politicians serving at the national level, university professors, past recipients of a Nobel Prize, heads of state, and members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, just to name a few, are eligible to receive the Nobel Prize.
In other words, if you are nominated by any of the mentioned people, you are qualified to be eligible for the Nobel Peace Prize, if the Norwegian Nobel Committee ends up choosing you. These are not exactly the strictest qualification guidelines. For all we know, Adolf Hitler could be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize… oh, wait… Adolf Hitler did get nominated in 1939 for the Nobel Prize, but as a joke by antifascist Erik Gottfrid Christian Brandt, who was a member of the Swedish Parliament and wasn’t happy with the nomination of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. The nomination, of course, was cancelled quickly and the 1939 Peace Prize ended up going to nobody.
Alfred Nobel, creator of the Nobel Prizes, stated in his will that the Nobel prizes should be awarded to those who “conferred the greatest benefit to humankind.” President Trump certainly doesn’t come to mind, especially when you think about how his actions and rhetoric are opposite of peace. Back in 1989, Trump spent $85,000 on full-page ads in newspapers calling for the death penalty on five Black and Latino teenagers, ages 14 – 16, who were convicted of raping a female jogger, despite no DNA evidence linking them to the case. These teenagers, otherwise known as the Central Park Five — Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, and Korey Wise — were later exonerated after the real attacker confessed in 2002. To this day, Trump still has not apologized to the Central Park Five and responded to a question in 2019 regarding his actions with “…you have people on both sides of that. They admitted their guilt,” according to CNN.
Furthermore, his response to the Unite the Right rally that protested the removal of Confederate statues — symbols of white supremacy — in Charlottesville, Va. in 2017 was simply “you also had some very fine people on both sides.” According to Vox, the Unite the Right rally was “explicitly organized and branded as a far-right, racist, and white supremacist event by far-right racist white supremacists.” Yes, very fine people on both sides, I’m sure.
Not to mention about three months ago, when riots broke out in America in the wake of the death of George Floyd, Trump tweeted, “…when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” This phrase has a terrible history, as it has been said before in the 1967 by Miami police Chief Walter Headley, who was known for his bigotry against the Black community, and has been said again in 1968 by presidential candidate George Wallace, a well-known segregationist. President Trump’s tweet was later flagged by Twitter in violation of their rules about glorifying violence. Additionally, there is no denying the poor leadership of President Trump during the Coronavirus pandemic. According to journalist Bob Woodward’s new book, Rage, Trump deliberately played down the seriousness of the pandemic and was slow in acting against COVID-19, which has led to the deaths of 193,705 people in the U.S., according to the CDC.
All of this is to say, Trump definitely does not deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. His actions and rhetoric have not brought peace and, in some cases, have even called for violence. The Nobel Peace Prize should be meant for people who have done the most to promote and advance peace in the world and among the nations. When we think about those who have received the Nobel Peace Prize, we think about Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and Mother Teresa, among others.
Trump does not fit in with them. He may have played a role in the peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates — which was bound to happen sooner or later — but he has certainly played no part in uniting his own country, which is currently divided as his poisoned words and actions continue to have negative consequences on the spirit of our nation.
Feature image: Courtesy of Norway Today.