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Kushner, Berkowitz, Friedman and Dermer nominated for Nobel for Israel deals

Three Trump officials named by celebrity attorney Alan Dershowitz, along with Israel’s former US envoy, for roles in Abraham Accords on normalized ties

Avi Berkowitz, Assistant to the President and Special Representative for International Negotiations, left, and President Donald Trump's White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, look at each other during a press briefing in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, Aug. 13, 2020 (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Avi Berkowitz, Assistant to the President and Special Representative for International Negotiations, left, and President Donald Trump's White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, look at each other during a press briefing in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, Aug. 13, 2020 (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Three officials from the Trump administration and an Israeli ambassador were nominated on Sunday for a Nobel Peace Prize by Alan Dershowitz, a loyal backer of former US president Donald Trump.

Former White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, his deputy Avi Berkowitz, US ambassador to Israel David Friedman, and Ron Dermer, Israel’s former envoy in Washington, were all nominated by the prominent attorney for their roles in the US-brokered group of agreements known as the Abraham Accords.

According to the Reuters news agency, Kushner said he was honored by the nomination.

Israel established diplomatic ties with the UAE and Bahrain in September as part of the accords and has also reached normalization agreements with Sudan and Morocco.

US President Donald Trump, accompanied by (From left), US special envoy for Iran Brian Hook, Avraham Berkowitz, Assistant to the President and Special Representative for International Negotiations, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Trump’s White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, applauding in the Oval Office at the White House, August 12, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The agreement infuriated the Palestinians and eroded a longstanding Arab position that normalization with Israel will only come after the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved.

Democrats in the US Congress, meanwhile, took issue with a massive arms deal — involving the transfer of stealth F-35 fighters to the United Arab Emirates — announced following the signing of the accords, with the Biden administration saying it would review the sale.

Attorney Alan Dershowitz talks to the press outside federal court in New York, on Monday, December 2, 2019 (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Dershowitz, a close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as Trump, is permitted to nominate individuals or organizations for the prestigious prize in his capacity as a professor emeritus of Harvard Law School.

He defended Trump in his first impeachment trial last and has said the latest charges against the former president over his role in the deadly riot at the US Capitol should be dropped.

Trump has also been nominated for the award for his role in brokering the accords by a member of a conservative-leaning populist Norwegian political party.

A number of lawmakers have also nominated Netanyahu for the award for his role in the accords.

Then-president Barack Obama got the prize in 2009 in a controversial decision, for what the Nobel Committee described as his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

The winner of the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize — selected by a five-member committee appointed by the Norwegian parliament — will be announced in October.

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