Weizman nominated for Nobel Prize, papers report

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"It is believed," the paper's Israel correspondent Peter Beck writes, "that Spain's King Juan Carlos, Queen Elizabeth of England and French President Jacques Chirac are also among those who nominated Weizman."

The Nobel Peace Prize winner will be announced Friday, Oct. 15, and, as every year, the nominees and winners will remain a secret until then.

Generally, at this stage of the selection process the prize committee has narrowed down the pool of candidates to a handful. However, it is not known whether Weizman is among that group, nor who the other candidates are.

In his letter of recommendation obtained by the Post, Arafat writes that Weizman "was one of the pioneer brave Israelis who persisted in acting for direct negotiations between the government of Israel and the PLO," and that during his term in office he "continued to act tirelessly to break down the walls of enmity between Israel and its neighbors and to widen the circles of peace and coexistence in the Middle East."

Other recommendations were also obtained by the Post.

Former Egyptian Prime Minister Mustafa Khalil states that "through his character and deeds, President Weizman personifies Israel's struggle to live in peace with its neighbors."

Boutros-Ghali lauds Weizman for his "commitment and steadfastness over so many years, for his courage and for his devotion to the vision of peace."

Jihan Sadat, the wife of slain Egyptian President Anwar Sadat — who himself received the prize, sharing it with former Prime Minister Menachem Begin — also wrote to the committee. She suggests that the two people deserving the prize who had yet to receive it are Weizman, the defense minister at the time of the Camp David talks, and former President Jimmy Carter, who mediated the talks. She says Weizman served a key role at the time by smoothing out differences between the Egyptian and Israeli leaders.

In his letter to the committee, Kissinger writes that Weizman "is a man of deep conviction who has played a unique role in Israel's current politics. He has demonstrated many times his willingness to reach out to the Palestinians for reconciliation between peoples who have harbored so much hatred."