An Editorial from the Jewish Action Alliance



We know that it is unprecedented for the Nobel Prize authorities to revoke an award. But the continued complicity in acts of barbaric slaughter by the recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize surely warrants an unprecedented sanction. In the name of peace -- true and enduring peace for all peoples of the Middle East -- we call upon the Nobel Prize Committee to reconsider its decision to award the Peace Prize to Yasser Arafat. Without rectification of this profound error, the search for peace in the Middle East will be doomed to failure.

The initial decision to award Arafat with the coveted Nobel Prize was apparently based on the belief that Arafat had renounced acts of terror and had become a sincere participant in a true peace process. No doubt the Nobel authorities were assured of this by none other than Israeli leaders such as Shimon Peres and Yossi Beilin. Yet, in the months following the award, a mounting wave of compelling evidence -- so graphic and shocking that none can ignore it -- shows beyond a reasonable doubt that Arafat's pledge to renounce terrorism and devote himself to peace was an utter falsehood -- and that the continued empowerment of this international criminal by the prestigious Nobel Prize Award is itself a significant obstacle to true peace in the Middle East and an intolerable perversion of the ideals and goals of the Nobel Peace Prize and the hopes of people everywhere who are devoted to peace.

The Nobel Prize authorities will meet shortly to decide upon next year's award. Indeed, the urgency of this matter would justify convening a special meeting of the Peace Prize Committee. We hereby urgently implore the committee to take the step -- unprecedented though it be -- of formally and publicly revoking the Peace Prize awarded to Yasser Arafat. In furtherance of this objective, we have launched this campaign to revoke the prize, and are traveling to Oslo to formally present our written request to the Nobel Prize authorities.

The eyes of the world -- hundreds of millions of Christians, Jews, Moslems and people of all creeds and nations -- follow with close attention the decisions of the Nobel Prize Committee. The award of the Peace Prize stands for something of great importance. To brazenly traduce the commitment its recipient implicitly is itself an atrocity against the hopes and dreams of the world community. If the award to Arafat is not revoked, the Nobel Prize process will -- in the eyes of history -- be forever defiled.

Arafat remains committed to the total destruction of Israel and the use of terror to accomplish his goal. In the name of peace, and in the name of truth and justice, the Nobel Prize award to Arafat must be revoked. [August 21, 1997]

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