Just ahead of the February 1 deadline for consideration for its 2021 Peace Prize, the Nobel Committee received a couple of notable nominations. First, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement was nominated by Petter Eide, a member of Norway’s parliament and the country’s Socialist Left Party. Second, former President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner and three other Trump-era officials were nominated by Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz for their work on groundbreaking peace deals between Israel and several Arab nations.
The BLM nomination generated controversy almost immediately due to the group’s connection to the riots last summer in various U.S. cities in the wake of the George Floyd killing in Minneapolis. Cities such as Seattle, Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York and Portland, Oregon were the scenes of burning, looting, and violence against police.
Eide told ABC News that most of the violence was committed by police and counter-demonstrators.
“We found studies showing more than 90% of the demonstrations in the U.S. were peaceful. Most of those incidents of violence was [sic] based on either aggressive police behavior or counter-demonstrations,” Eide said. “I’m quite convinced that Black Lives Matter is a peaceful organization.”
BLM acknowledged the nomination on Twitter. “We hold the largest social movement in global history,” the organization tweeted. “Today, we have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. People are waking up to our global call: for racial justice and an end to economic injustice, environmental racism, and white supremacy. We’re only getting started.”
The other recent Peace Prize nominations, those of former White House senior advisor Jared Kushner, his deputy Avi Berkowitz, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, and former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer were less controversial.
The four were nominated by Dershowitz for their work in facilitating the historic 2020 Middle East agreements between Israel, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain known as the Abraham Accords.
“These Accords, which have brought about normalization between Israel and several Sunni Arab nations, fulfill all the criteria for the prize,” Dershowitz wrote in his nomination letter, according to the The Jerusalem Post.
“They hold the promise of an even broader peace in the Middle East between Israel, the Palestinians and other Arab nations. They are a giant step forward in bringing peace and stability to the region, and even to the world,” he wrote.
Kushner and Berkowitz were also key figures in getting Israel to enter into bilateral agreements with Morocco and Sudan in the wake of the Accords, bringing the total number of peace agreements for the year to four. Prior to 2020, there were just two peace deals in 72 years between Israel and any of its Arab neighbors.