The Ironies of Peace (Obama and the Nobel "Peace" Prize ) by Michael Nagler

The Ironies of Peace (Obama and the Nobel "Peace" Prize ) by Michael Nagler

In 1982, Mother Teresa of Calcutta stunned the world by announcing that she was going into a raging conflict in Beirut to rescue disabled children from an abandoned orphanage. It was during the bombardment that Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel called “Operation Peace for Galilee.” It was a stunning gesture, perfectly worthy of her, and the judgment of the Nobel Peace Prize committee that awarded her the coveted honor some years before. What the world didn’t notice is that Prime Minister Begin, author of the carnage, had also been given the Nobel Prize for Peace.

From that day—or even further back if you consider that Alfred Nobel made his fortune by inventing dynamite—the prize has been accompanied by ironies. In December of 2009 in Oslo, those ironies took on a particular form that is of great significance to all of us.

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