Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Obama's 'Big Prize' to Earn Nobel Peace
Prize Is By Ending Ongoing Israeli War on the Palestinian People
By Nicola Nasser
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, December 9, 2013
Indeed, US President Barak Obama has gone a long way to earn his
Nobel Peace Prize, which was prospectively and in advance awarded in 2009 to
the 44th president of the United States while less than eight months in
However, Obama’s “big prize” to make him “feel that I
deserve” the Nobel Prize as he had said then will be waiting for him
until he ends the ongoing Israeli war on the
Palestinian people and occupation of their land, at least since 1967.
This Israeli war lies at the heart of both the wars Obama inherited as
well as those he has just averted and has been all along the source of
regional wars, instability and insecurity as well as the source of the
deep-rooted anti-Americanism in the Middle East.
To his credit,
President Obama, true to his promise to “end a decade of wars,” wound up the
war on Iraq, now coordinating winding down his country’s war on Afghanistan
next year and twice this year he has navigated successfully to avert and
avoid dragging his country into wars on Syria and Iran.
matter much whether Obama has gone thus far out of principle or under the
pressures of the financial crisis in his country and the emerging
geopolitical realities internationally and regionally in the Middle East.
Pressures would be more likely an interpretation if one is to judge by
his shift from his former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s call on
Syrian rebels not to disarm with the aim of enforcing a regime change in
Syria to the US co-sponsoring now the upcoming Geneva – 2 conference on
January 22 for a political solution of the Syrian conflict.
“out of principle” interpretation seems more likely if one is to judge by
the AP wire story about the background of the Iran deal, which revealed that
Obama was conducting “secret talks” with Iran for about a year before the
election last summer of the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, to whose
“moderation” a lot of credit was attributed for the success of negotiating
It is true that Obama’s ongoing “drone war” on Yemen,
Pakistan and elsewhere, his “leading from behind” in the NATO-led war on
Libya, his “warships diplomacy” and “sanctions war” on Syria, Iran and of
late on Egypt all vindicate calls for rescinding his Nobel prize, but ending
the ongoing Israeli war on the Palestinian people remains his only daring
peace move that will tip the balance to his credit for good.
for his failure to deliver on his promise to close the Guantanamo Bay
detention camp on the Cuban territory, the Arab – Israeli conflict remains
the most critical foreign policy area where his deeds still do not match his
Long before his opposition to the US-led war on Iraq in 2003,
Obama came of political age in the campus anti-nuclear movement of the 1980s
and was elected as an anti-war figure; at a presidential campaign debate in
South Carolina in 2007 he spoke about meetings with the leaders of Iran,
North Korea, and other nations hostile to his country. He was awarded the
Noble Peace Prize “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international
diplomacy and cooperation” and for his vision and work “for a world without
After his new START treaty with Russia cutting
down the two countries’ nuclear arsenals, disarming Syria of its chemical
arsenal and restricting Iran’s nuclear program to peaceful purposes,
disarming Israel of its nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction
remains the litmus test which will determine the credibility of Obama’s
endeavor “for a world without nuclear weapons” and will qualify him to
“deserve” the Nobel Peace Prize.
After the signing of the four-page
“Joint Plan of Action” interim nuclear deal between Iran and the 5-plus-1
partners in Geneva on this November 24, “He can now also say he has avoided
a third war,” according to Bruce O. Riedel, a former administration official
who is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, quoted by The New York
times last Monday.
However the “third war” has been raging bloodily
and mercilessly for less than three years now in Syria, “led from behind” by
his administration and either openly armed, financed and logistically
supported by the US regional Qatari, Saudi and Turkish allies or proxies, it
doesn’t matter which, or away from media spotlights by the US Israeli
Partnering with Russia to conclude the January 22
Geneva – 2 conference with a successful political solution of the Syrian
conflict, by drying up the regional sources of arms and money that fuel the
conflict, will be Obama’s “small prize” towards earning his Nobel prize.
But his “big prize” will remain tied to ending the sixty five-year old
Israeli war on the Palestinian people.
Israel’s warmongering against
Iran, Syria, Lebanese Hezbullah and Palestinian anti-Israeli occupation
resistance movements besieged in the Gaza strip stands isolated in the face
of a consensus by the world community on pursuing Obama’s pledge that
“diplomacy would continue” because, as he said last Sunday, “we cannot close
the door on diplomacy, and we cannot rule out peaceful solutions to the
plan of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu … has been to launch a
massive military assault on Iran that has no guarantee of success in ending
the nuclear program but would almost certainly unleash a region-wide war.” (http://www.philly.com,
Nov. 24, 2013)
Netanyahu condemned the
Iran deal as an “historic mistake;” he stated that “Israel is not
bound by the agreement” and has the right to “defend itself by itself”
before sending his cabinet minister Naftali Bennett to Capitol Hill to rally
Congress against the White House and the State Department and calling on
American Jews to oppose the policies of Obama’s government.
Netanyahu leaves no doubt that he is well
determined to abort the Iran deal and deprive Obama from earning his Nobel
* Nicola Nasser is a veteran Arab journalist
based in Birzeit, West Bank of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.