They cry peace, peace, when there is no peace

nation 2 november 2009Of several pieces on the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Barack Obama, the best is by Alexander Cockburn, who recounts the genuinely gruesome records of other recipients of that prize.  Of the three US presidents who preceded the incumbent as winners of that revered accolade, Cockburn declares the least wicked to have been Jimmy Carter.  That is the same Jimmy Carter who “amped up the new cold war, got Argentinian torturers to train the Contras and above all dragged the United States into Afghanistan.”  In closing, Cockburn lists some recipients of the International Stalin Prize for Strengthening Peace Among Peoples.  It’s rather hilarious sobering  to look at the murderer’s row of Nobel Peace Prize winners and then consider that figures as substantial as Paul Robeson, Bertolt Brecht, and Pablo Neruda won something as disreputable-sounding as the International Stalin Prize for Strengthening Peace Among Peoples. 

Two pieces tell of changing attitudes towards Israel/ Palestine among American Jews.  Adam Horowitz and Philip Weiss (of the Mondoweiss blog) report on the refusal of established American Jewish organizations to follow the people they are supposed to represent and start looking for peaceful solutions to the conflict.  Another article reports on Tom Dine, a former top lobbyist for the hardline American-Israel Political Action Committee who is now working to promote a two-state solution and calling for a warming of relations between the US and Syria.  The online edition of The Nation also carries a noteworthy piece this week about Palestinian children in Israeli prisons.

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