Peace Organizations Stand in Solidarity for BDS Nobel Prize Nomination
By Emiliya Strahilova/Arab America Contributing Writer
On February 2, BDS received a nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize by MP and leader of the Norwegian Red Party Bjørnar Moxness. The Norwegian Nobel Committee will prepare a shortlist of the candidates for a prize by the end of March and then later in October will announce the Laureates. Meanwhile, organizations around the world engage in working on campaigns for supporting the nominations they care about.
The Jewish Voice for Peace (US), together with Palestine Solidarity Campaign (UK), released a petition aiming to collect at least 18,000 signatures, to be forwarded to The Norwegian Nobel Committee. The petition is one of the two actions intended to back the election of BDS. The second action is writing a formal thank you letter to Mr. Eirik Vold, political advisor for Bjonar Moxnes, the member of the Norwegian Parliament, who made the nomination.
Here is a segment of Jewish Voice for Peace’s invitation to participate in their initiative:
“Sign our petition and tell the Nobel Committee: the movement for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions deserves recognition–because Palestinians deserve to be free. Today–as was the case with all those other boycotts, in their time–not everyone sees BDS for the principled movement that it is.. Every day, BDS activists are attacked by those devoted to defending Israel’s apartheid system. That’s why it’s so important to come out strong in our support for this nomination. And that’s why JVP and PSC have come together to advocate for this important recognition.”
— UM Kairos Response (@UMKairosResp) February 13, 2018
The Norwegian politician Bjonar Moxnes’s suggestion for the Noble Prize triggered many attempts for boycotting BDS–a tendency which has been active for years. Earlier in 2018, the Israeli government published a list of various entities that are banned from entering the country. The ban is global and includes many politicians and influential public figures.
Bjørnar Moxness is representing the far left ideology in Norway. He is a former leader of the Red Youth and at an impressively early age, became the head of the Red Party. In the defense of his Nobel Prize nomination, Moxness highlights his convictions:
“Nominating the BDS movement for this recognition is perfectly in line with the principles I and my party hold very dear. Like the BDS movement, we are fully committed to stopping an ascendant, racist and right-wing politics sweeping too much of our world, and securing freedom, justice, and equality for all people.”
The entire statement can be found here.
The disclosure of the nominations was followed by diverse reactions. Apart from the celebrations and the campaigns supporting BDS, some pro-Israel activists expressed boldly their disapproval.
“Yasser Arafat was the laureate of Nobel Peace Prize and the BDS movement is nothing short of Arafat’s agenda- a racist deadly campaign that will continue attacking Israelis even if it hurts Palestinians.” Read my take and my friend’s @Ostrov_A https://t.co/WNAkFQMA5P
— Hen Mazzig (@HenMazzig) February 6, 2018
An Israeli organization even created their own petition that intends to remove BDS from the Noble Prize shortlist
The Nobel Peace Prize has existed since 1901. It was named after Alfred Nobel who decided the winners of the prize “shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies, and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses“.
There is one person or institution awarded each year. Among the most famous Peace Laureates were Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Mother Tereza, ICRC, the UN, the EU, etc. Not all of the previously elected Laureates were accepted unanimously. The awards given to Mikhail Gorbachev, Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, Menachem Begin, Yasser Arafat, Lê Đức Thọ, Henry Kissinger, Jimmy Carter, Al Gore, IPCC, Liu Xiaobo, Aung San Suu Kyi, and Barack Obama, have all been a subject of controversy.
This year is no exception. The White Helmets got nominated along with Iraqi-Kurdish Peshmerga forces, but the most unforeseen surprise was the nomination of Donald Trump.