News that President Obama received the Nobel Peace elicited a gasp from the anchor of afternoon newsreel of Israel Broadcasting Authority Radio on Friday – “Well, now that is a surprise”, she said with some spontaneity.
Within an hour of the announcement, Reuven Rivlin, veteran speaker of the Israel Knesset Parliament, warned that “Someone who gets a peace prize should not force-feed Israel with his version of peace”, going on to say that he hoped that the peace prize would not inspire the president to “dictate a peace accord to Israel”
Israel has reason to be concerned.
The committee that awards the Nobel Peace prize is comprised of officials from the Norwegian political elite, as opposed to other Nobel prizes for excellence in science, education, health or other scholarly concerns.
The announcement of this prize occurs at a time that Norway remains almost the only European nation to recognize, aid and abet the Hamas regime in Gaza, at a time when Norway sanctions boycotts of some Israeli companies, and at at time when Norway openly funds movements in Israel that advocate the expulsion of Jewish communities from Judea, Samaria, the Golan and Jerusalem.
Things are so bad between Norway and Israel that the Israeli Foreign Ministry is now considering filing a formal request to expel Norwegian peace keeping observers from Hebron.
In other words, for many Israelis. Norwegian endorsement of the peace posture of President Obama reads like a kiss of death for Israel.
Norway’s position is that the US should lead the world community to establish a Palestinian state, even if that state would launch aerial attacks on Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport, much as the Palestinian entity in Gaza now fires freely on Sderot and the Western Negev.
Will the Nobel Peace Prize give President Obama the leverage that he needs to lower the boom on Israel?
Time will tell.