Jewish Journal

President Obama, the Nobel Peace Prize and morality

by Brad A. Greenberg

October 9, 2009 | 11:49 am

Congratulated by the Montauk Monster

No, he’s not really the Messiah. But President Barack Obama is more popular than Jesus and he certainly has no image problem.

Most of the response this morning to Obama’s winning of the Nobel Peace Prize has focused on two things: the widespread shock and surprise that his name was drawn, and so early, and what exactly this means for redeeming the United States’ moral authority.

Eliezer Wiesel, a fellow Nobel Peace laureate discussed this on NPR a few minutes ago. But he’s a friendly. What are they saying in parts of the world where the US hasn’t been so popular?

Saleh al-Mutlaq, a senior Iraqi Sunni Muslim lawmaker, told Reuters: “I think he deserves this prize. Obama succeeded to make a real change in the policy of the United States — a change from a policy that was exporting evil to the world to a policy exporting peace and stability to the world.”

More opinions gathered by Reuters here.

Part of what Obama was recognized for, in addition to his aims for nuclear disarmament, was his immediate involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. What kind of grade does he get, eight months in, on that subject? That just so happens to be the cover story for this week’s Jewish Journal. Read those differences of opinion here.

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