Which brings me to this news: New York Rep. Lee Zeldin nominated Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of former President Donald Trump for this year’s prize for his work on the Abraham Accords, a set of agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates negotiated during the Trump administration.
That news, first reported by the New York Post and confirmed to CNN by a Zeldin spokesman, sparked elation in pro-Trump circles and angst among those who loathe Kushner and the broader Trump family.
The truth is that there is less here than meets the eye. To understand why, you have to understand how the Nobel nomination process works.
Here’s who can put forward someone for the peace prize, according to the Nobel website:
“These nominations will be submitted by members of national assemblies, governments, and international courts of law; university chancellors, professors of social science, history, philosophy, law and theology; leaders of peace research institutes and institutes of foreign affairs; previous Nobel Peace Prize Laureates; board members of organizations that have received the Nobel Peace Prize; present and past members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee; and former advisers of the Norwegian Nobel Institute.”
Zeldin, a pro-Trump congressman, called the Abraham Accords “the most significant diplomatic breakthrough between Israel and Arab nations in decades.” (Not for nothing: Zeldin is running for governor of New York this year.)
Every year, hundreds of people are nominated — the vast majority of whom have somewhere between slim and no chance of winning. In 2021, there were 329 nominees — of which 234 were individuals and 95 were organizations. Kushner himself was nominated for the 2021 prize by lawyer Alan Dershowitz — again for the Abraham Accords. (Dershowitz was eligible to nominate Kushner as a professor emeritus of Harvard Law School.) The prize went to journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov “for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.”
The news of the nomination may raise Kushner’s spirits — even if he is very unlikely to win.
A lengthy Washingtonian piece headlined “Javanka in Exile” portrayed Kushner and Ivanka Trump as, effectively, cast out of the social circles in which they once ran due to their associations with the former President and the time they both spent in his White House.
“She’s out of politics at the moment, out of her former executive job at the Trump Organization, out of the womenswear brand that bore her name, out of high society in New York, and cast out of Washington, too,” read the piece. “Although once viewed as a potentially tempering force on her demagogic dad, Ivanka never did find her footing in the White House or in DC society; January 6 was the final rupture.”
Kushner, for his part, has been traveling regularly in the Middle East, according to a recent report from Bloomberg.