Former Trump-administration official Jared Kushner and his top aide Avi Berkowitz received nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize for their role in securing the Abraham Accords last summer.
Kushner and his team played a lead role in mediating negotiations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates that led to normalization of relations between the two countries. Former U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman and his Israeli counterpart Ron Dermer were also nominated.
Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz nominated the former White House staffers in a letter reported by Reuters on Sunday. Dershowitz’s letter noted the "enormous" role played by the American delegation in achieving normalization between the UAE and Israel.
In his letter, Dershowitz emphasized "the enormous contributions to peace made by Jared Kushner, Avrahm Berkowitz, David Friedman and Ron Dermer."
"These men played especially important roles," Dershowitz said. "[The accords] hold the promise of an even broader peace in the Middle East between Israel, the Palestinians, and other Arab nations. They are a giant step forward in bringing peace and stability to the region, and even to the world."
Gulf states are still feeling the wide-ranging impacts of the new peace brokered by the Trump administration. Israel and the UAE continue to strengthen commercial and diplomatic ties, and Bahrain also normalized ties to Israel following the Abraham Accords. Iran, meanwhile, has lost leverage with Gulf partners since the agreement.
The Biden administration appears prepared to upend some of the diplomatic progress made in Middle Eastern affairs. Last week, President Joe Biden halted the sale of F-35 fighter jets to UAE, a sale previously endorsed by Israel. Biden also appointed Robert Malley as Iran envoy last week. Malley previously worked in the Obama and Clinton administrations and has a history of hostility toward Israeli interests, as well as a record of advocating conciliatory policies toward Iran and its affiliated terror groups.