3 thoughts on “why the nobel peace prize never went to Thich Nhat Hanh?

  1. Americans don’t give out the Nobel Peace Prize. Europeans do — to terrorists like Arafat and Mandela. Check with them.

  2. To win a Nobel Peace prize you have to be nominated by somebody. In 1967 Martin Luther King nominated Thich Nhat Hanh. But in 1966 and 1967 the Nobel committee responsible for giving the peace prize failed to agree on a winner. So the answer might be: internal politics created deadlock. The Nobel peace prize committee is selected by the Norwegian parliament and this could change as the balance of power changes. I quote from the Nobel website for this period (1966-1969):

    “In the mid-1960s the membership of the Norwegian Nobel Committee changed. The Labor party lost its majority in 1965, and Jahn retired at the end of 1966. Labor held the chairmanship under Nils Langhelle (1967), Aase Lionæs (1968-1978), the first woman leader, and John Sanness (1979-1981). Lionæs had become a member of the committee as early as 1949; she was in fact the only woman on the committee until 1979. She was also the only one of the pre-1965 members continuing on the committee. Lionæs had tried to secure the Peace Prize for Eleanor Roosevelt, but failed; in general she did not particularly push female candidates. The non-Socialist majority held the chairmanship under conservative Bernt Ingvaldsen (1967) and Egil Aarvik (1983-1990) of the Christian People’s Party, but it too rarely acted in unison. So, as in the earlier period, personal views were more important than party loyalties. In this period there were only three irregular prizes.

    “After 1965 political power fluctuated between Labor and non-socialist governments, but differences between the major parties were small on most foreign policy questions, with the primary exception of the very divisive issue of Norwegian membership in the European Community. In the Middle East, traditionally strong sympathies for Israel were increasingly balanced by a growing understanding of the Palestinian/Arab cause. Support for the UN remained very strong; the same was the case with backing for NATO, although the Vietnam war was to accelerate a more critical attitude to the United States, particularly among youth and the increasingly important women groups. Impatience with the limited results achieved in arms control and disarmament, particularly on the nuclear side, was growing. On the Norwegian Nobel Committee this impatience was reflected in Chairman Aarvik’s personal views. Norway’s interest in human rights in most corners of the world was clearly also rising.”

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