Israeli activists have attacked a Norwegian parliamentarian’s decision to nominate the BDS boycott movement for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.
The group, which campaigns for a global boycott of Israel until it withdraws from Palestinian territories, was nominated for the prize by Bjørnar Moxnes, leader of Norway’s far-left Red Party.
Any minister or member of parliament around the world can nominate an individual or active organisation for the Nobel Peace Prize.
In a statement Mr Moxnes described BDS as a “peaceful, global human rights movement that urges the use of economic and cultural boycotts to end Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights and international law.”
But his decision to nominate the movement, which has long been criticised as antisemitic, was attacked by Israeli activists.
“It makes a complete mockery of human rights and pursuit of peace, which this Prize was created to reward,” Israeli-Jewish Congress director Arsen Ostrovsky told the Jerusalem Post.
“But then again, the Nobel Committee does have a track record of rewarding Palestinian violence, such as when Arafat was given the Prize.”
Yasser Arafat, the late Palestinian Authority leader, shared the 1994 prize with two Israeli politicians, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, after they agreed the Oslo Accords.
Hundreds of people and bodies are nominated every year for the award and trimmed to a shortlist of approximately 20 candidates. The eventual winner is selected by members of the Nobel Committee, with all other nominees and nominators kept secret for 50 years.