To return to the new Peace Now website click here.

JTA: "Mideast peace push cited in Obama Nobel"

The first pro-Israel group to praise Obama was Americans for Peace Now.

"President Obama deserves recognition and praise for making Middle East peace a top U.S. foreign policy priority from his first moments in the Oval Office," said Ori Nir, its spokesman


By Ron Kampeas · October 9, 2009

(JTA) -- The chairman of the Nobel Peace Prize committee cited President Obama's outreach to the Muslim world and his push for Israeli-Arab peace in explaining the shock decision.

"One of the first things he did was to go to Cairo to try to reach out to the Muslim world, then to restart the Mideast negotiations and then he reached out to the rest of the world through international institutions," Thorbjorn Jagland said in Oslo Friday after announcing that Obama had won the prize.

Obama was a surprise pick; he is just nine months into his presidency and has yet to achieve a major international agreement. Jagland said the committee wanted to "enhance" Obama's efforts.

The formal citation notes Obama's "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples" and his "vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons."

Obama has cited his hopes for a nuclear free world in his efforts to get Iran to stand down from its suspected nuclear weapons program.

The first pro-Israel group to praise Obama was Americans for Peace Now.

"President Obama deserves recognition and praise for making Middle East peace a top U.S. foreign policy priority from his first moments in the Oval Office," said Ori Nir, its spokesman, in a statement released before dawn Friday. "We hope that winning the prestigious prize will further energize the President and his aides to push for peace between Israel and her neighbors."

President Obama will receive the $1.4 million prize in Oslo on Dec. 10.

http://jta.org/news/article/2009/10/09/1008411/mideast-peace-push-cited-in-obama-nobel