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Congratulations, But… | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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US President Barack Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Committee announced that Obama had won the peace prize in appreciation of his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples” and his “vision of a world free from nuclear arms [which] has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations.”

Barack Obama continues to surprise everybody, including himself. After suddenly and unexpectedly winning the US presidential elections, and prior to completing one year in office, and even before celebrating his 50th birthday, President Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize. This is a magnificent accomplishment that the President can add to his modest resume. I think that luck is currently very much on Obama’s side, and there’s a strong possibility that should he participate in the 100m sprint, he could break the 9 second barrier and beat the unstoppable Usain Bolt. However to get back to the serious issue, winning the Nobel Peace Prize puts Barack Obama in front of a serious moral test, especially when we look at the reasons given for his victory, and particularly if we apply these reasons to the Arab – Israeli conflict.

Today Israel is clearly and overtly brushing aside all peace initiatives, UN resolutions, and international mediations, and continuing in its violent policy of death towards innocent and unarmed Palestinians, not to mention pulling down their homes, confiscating their property, and expanding its diabolical settlement plans. More than this, extremist Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman came out in public and stated that “Those who think that we can within the coming years reach a global deal that will end the conflict do not understand reality. They are sowing illusions.” Lieberman went on to say that peace in the Middle East is not viable, and that he would inform this to US Special Envoy George Mitchell in person when he next visits Israel.

Obama has strained his voice repeating over and over again that a two-state solution is viable, and that it is necessary for Israel to freeze its settlement building. However the US president’s words have not been respected and the deranged government of Israel has persistently continued with its transgressions, supported by the extremists in its cabinet. Not content with this, Israel brazenly stepped up the confrontation at the Al Aqsa mosque, which represents the heart of Palestine for one and a half billion Muslims around the world. The Israeli government is unwavering in its plan to gradually remove the Al Aqsa mosque and build in its place the mythical Temple of Solomon. This temple has no origins in history and is a figment of the imagination. The plan to remove the Al-Aqsa mosque is no longer a secret being deliberated behind closed doors, it now a project that has been openly declared and is one of the plans of the Jerusalem Municipality. All of this is taking place in an “occupied” city as defined by the United Nations and the overwhelming majority of countries around the world. Nevertheless Israel persists to shamelessly commit more violations without any apparent concerns, or fears of deterrence.

The Israeli nuclear program has so far produced more than 400 nuclear warheads, while the Jewish state currently has 4 nuclear reactors, several nuclear submarines, as well a nuclear capable intercontinental ballistic missile system. This military arsenal has never been put under any international controls, and it is not subject to any UN resolutions or international treaties and covenants. There is no greater double standard or contradiction than this.

President Obama, I congratulate you on this personal achievement, and I renew my respect for your values and intentions, but I do not think you should accept the Nobel Peace Prize when this [victory] is built upon double standards, the bodies of innocent victims, and duplicity. Israel is a rogue state which is acting in the same way as the Nazis. Mr. President, in order for the world to truly respect and appreciate your latest achievement, they are waiting for actions which match your statements. I know this is asking a lot, but it is what is required.