26 Oct, 2020
JERUSALEM WEATHER

Christian Tybring-Gjedde, a four-term Norwegian parliamentarian for the conservative Progress Party and chairman to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, told the “Fox News Rundown” podcast on Wednesday that he submitted a letter to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee nominating President Trump for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize. The reason, he stated, was for brokering the Abraham Accord, the historic normalization agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates signed three weeks ago.

“For his merit, I think he has done more trying to create peace between nations than most other Peace Prize nominees,” Tybring-Gjedde told Fox News.

Christian Tybring-Gjedde (screenshot)

Gjedde was careful to note that his nomination was not intended to curry favor with the US president. 

“I’m not a big Trump supporter,” he added. “The committee should look at the facts and judge him on the facts – not on the way he behaves sometimes. The people who have received the Peace Prize in recent years have done much less than Donald Trump.”

Gjedde compared the accord to the 1978 Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt and the Oslo Accords of the 1990s between Israel and the PLO. Gjedde noted that Sadat and Begin received the shared 1978 Nobel Peace Prize for the Camp David Accords and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 for the Oslo Accords.

“That is a very, very important region in the world,” Gjedde said. “And all efforts that lead to peace in that region should be awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize and also for Donald J. Trump.”

In his letter to the Nobel Committee nominating Trump, Tybring-Gjedde wrote: “As it is expected other Middle Eastern countries will follow in the footsteps of the UAE, this agreement could be a game changer that will turn the Middle East into a region of cooperation and prosperity.”

In his letter, he noted Trump’s singular contributions to peace:

“Indeed, Trump has broken a 39-year-old streak of American Presidents either starting a war or bringing the United States into an international armed conflict. The last president to avoid doing so was Peace Prize laureate Jimmy Carter.”

If he does receive the award, Trump will be the fifth US president to do so.  The previous president, President Barack Obama, was awarded the No0bel Peace Prize for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between people”. The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced the award on October 9, 2009, nine months into Obama’;s first term in office, citing his promotion of nuclear nonproliferation and a “new climate” in international relations fostered by Obama, especially in reaching out to the Muslim world.

Gjedde referred to Obama’s award in the interview, saying he was “surprised” by the committee’s decision since he had done “nothing.”

“I think the Peace Prize was given to Obama because the Nobel Peace Committee leader was very flattered and also very impressed by Obama’s speeches and how he behaved during his first month in office as a president,” Gjedde said.

“Also, he was the first Black president. This was also an achievement in itself. I think that’s what the Nobel Peace Prize committee considered. But I think that is not what the Peace Prize committee should consider,” added Gjedde who said the committee should focus on “achievements, not any other criteria.”

Gjedde is an enthusiastic supporter of Trump’s efforts to bring world peace. In 2018, he joined with another Norwegian parliamentarian in calling for Trump to receive the Nobel Peace Prize after his Singapore summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Soon after eighteen House Republicans nominated Trump for the 2019 Nobel peace prize citing his efforts “to end the Korean War, denuclearize the Korean peninsula and bring peace to the region”. At the time, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also nominated Trump for the same prize, citing the same achievement. 

As a member of the Norwegian parliament, in 2006 he nominated for the Nobel Peace PrizeIslam-critical filmmaker Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an outspoken critic of Islam and advocate against female genital mutilation.

Each year, thousands of members of academies, university professors, scientists, previous Nobel Laureates and members of parliamentary assemblies and others, are asked to submit candidates for the Nobel Prizes for the coming year. In 2020, there were 318 candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The Nobel Peace Prize recipient is determined by a five-person Nobel Committee, which is appointed by the Norwegian Parliament. The winner of the Peace Prize for 2021 will not be announced until October of next year.

The prize is technically under the aegis of the government of Norway and though it comes with a $1.4 million award, a 2009 justice department memo says the prize does not qualify as an “emolument” from a foreign power. Sitting presidents are forbidden from receiving emoluments from foreign powers.