Jared Kushner nominated for Nobel Peace Prize by GOP Congressman

Jared Kushner has once again been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, this time by a New York Republican congressman and gubernatorial candidate who cited his role in major diplomatic breakthroughs between Israel and two Arab nations.

According to the New York PostMr Kushner’s name was put forward by Congressman Lee Zeldin of New York, who wrote in his letter to the Nobel committee that “The Abraham Accords, signed in 2020, represent the most significant diplomatic breakthrough between Israel and Arab nations in decades.

“Against the background of a centuries-old conflict and the COVID-19 pandemic, rising tensions, and Iran’s growing influence,” he continued, “Kushner and Berkowitz successfully brought together regional leaders, and forged regional alliances better capable of countering Iran’s malign influence .”

The Abraham Accords is the name used for the official normalization of relations between Israel and two other Middle Eastern states, the UAE and Bahrain.

While it remains to be seen what the Nobel committee will do with Mr Kusher’s nomination, the fact that his name has been put forward does not in itself mean much. Mr Kushner was nominated for the same reason last year, and did not make the shortlist.

The peace prize accepts nominations from “qualified nominators” around the world; eligibility for that list is determined by a long list of categories that includes “members of national assemblies and national governments (cabinet members/ministers) of sovereign states as well as current heads of states”.

Thanks in part to the vast number of people who qualify as nominators, the number of names submitted to the prize has swelled in recent years, and has topped 300 several times. A shortlist will be prepared by the Nobel committee in Oslo some time during February and March.

Mr Kushner was given a primary role in the Trump administration’s Middle East policy, one of several areas in which he was granted enormous influence despite lacking any relevant experience. The administration also recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moved the US embassy there, a deeply controversial move; the embassy now has a courtyard bearing Mr Kushner’s name.

Mr Trump, who himself was nominated for the prize by a Norwegian lawmaker and repeatedly overstated the significance of his name being put forward, reportedly once described Mr Kushner as “a great kid” and “the smartest guy I’ve ever seen in my life “.

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