Prof. Dr. Ghada Amer
Professor of Energy Engineering and Fellow of Nasser Military Academy
Disputes over the Nobel Peace Prize begin with a dispute over the founder himself, as its founder is Alfred Nobel, a Swedish chemist and businessman who invented dynamite in 1867, and went eight years later to register another patent for a new type of explosive, whose innovations became widely used by both armies and terrorists, and most importantly, he owned the Bofors arms company, which played a major role in reshaping iron and steel products into cannons and chemical weapons factories, and Nobel went to work for a peace prize after his brother died. Ludwig”, in 1888, One newspaper made a mistake and published an obituary under the title: “The Merchant of Death is Died”, giving his fortune to the Nobel Prizes, which were and still are among the richest in the world.
Perhaps Noble believed that this would do something to atone for the massive massacres and destruction caused by his inventions.
The Peace Prize (here I am talking about the Nobel Peace Prize specifically and not the other Nobel Prizes in physics, chemistry, literature, medicine or physiology), as stipulated in the last Nobel will, signed in 1895, is given every year to the “one who must to have done the best work of fraternity among nations and to spread peace, or presented an innovation or idea to abolish or reduce armies and weapons.”
But what he did not know, and noble could not know, was that the arms race that would have played a key role in the outbreak of World War I in 1914 had just begun, and that the outbreak of that war had been stimulated by arms manufacturers such as Bofors Company owned by Noble himself! . This has already caused the first major controversy in the history of the award.
Of course, the controversy did not stop to this extent. There are many who were awarded the prize and are far from peace, but sometimes the Nobel Peace Prize was given to war criminals, to name a few: the first man to receive the prize in 1906 was the American President. Theodore Roosevelt ”, which in the opinion of many people should never be awarded a prize for peace, because the prize was given to him under the pretext of Roosevelt’s work as an intermediary to end the war between Russia and Japan in 1905, but he was not really known as a“ messenger of peace ”, as he led the American cavalry in Cuba, when he became president showed his determination to see the United States as a superpower using military power, especially in the Caribbean sea area , and for its excessive use of military force, many US newspapers found the award to him strange, and the New York Times commented that “a broad smile lit the world when the award was given to the most US citizens in terms of wars. ”
In 1912, the award was given to Elihu Root, who served as secretary of war and secretary of state, later a senator and first president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, who was investigated by a US Senate committee to oversee the brutal repression of the movement of Philippine Independence.
In 1973, US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger received the award for his role in negotiating the Paris Peace Accords, which officially ended the Vietnam War, along with his Vietnamese counterpart, Le Duc Tho, but Tho rejected the award, noting that the accords had not yet been ended the killing operation but the fighting continued for another two years after Kissinger received the prize until the final victory of the North Vietnamese, and even Kissinger decided not to attend the ceremony and donated the prize money to charity associations.
Before that, Kissinger’s hands were stained with blood because he was the architect of a bombing campaign against rebel supply lines in Cambodia that caused the loss of 40,000 to 100,000 Cambodians, and even two Nobel committee members resigned in protest at Kissinger’s award.
In 1991, Aung San Suu Kyi has been awarded for her nonviolent struggle for democracy and human rights, while she was involved in the genocide against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar!
Shimon Peres was also awarded the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat, and before that Peres had systematically strengthened Israel’s nuclear capabilities – in complete contradiction with the committee’s requirement that the award should go to those who help to strip their country from Nuclear weapons.
Moreover, two years after the award, Peres was responsible for a massacre that killed 106 people in the Lebanese town of Qana!
While these are some of the most blunt examples, there are many other peace winners who have been highly questionable options, including Barack Obama, Colombian leader Juan Manuel Santos, and Tokel Kerman who sold her home… and others.
Last Friday, the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for achieving peace with Eritrea. Strangely enough, the award was not given to Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki, Abiy’s partner in the talks, although it is recognized in the past years that the award is given to all parties involved in the peace process, but the decision to award the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize to Abiy Ahmed was only surprising. Even Nobel Committee Chairman Peret Reese Anders said, “Peace does not arise from the actions of one party!” The strangest thing is that despite this agreement to end the conflict between the two countries for which Abiy Ahmed was awarded the prize last year, in practice, it was largely unimplemented and there was little benefit to Eritreans.
Was the award actually given to him about the peace process with Eritrea? Or what Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said about Abiy Ahmed in his last meeting, “I think that Abiy Ahmed’s commitment to help open up opportunities that we did not have before?”
In fact, the Nobel Peace Prize has become so polluted that some peace activists refuse to associate with it, for example the Jewish nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu, who spent 18 years in jail for leaking details of Israel’s nuclear program, who has repeatedly asked to be removed from the Nobel Peace Prize list in a letter to the Nobel Committee in 2009, he said he did not want to “belong to the list of winners, including Shimon Peres, the man behind Israel’s atomic policy.”
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies