WASHINGTON, D.C.--The award of the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize to Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin yesterday drew mixed reactions from local experts as well as observers of the Middle East throughout the world.
The five members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee said they gave the award to recognize the achievements of Sadat and Begin at Camp David, and to encourage further success in Middle East peace talks.
Former Nobel Peace Prize winner Henry A. Kissinger '50 praised Sadat and Begin for their efforts to bring peace to the Mideast. "By their courage they have demonstrated the moral fact that the greatest triumph of peoples lies not in their victories over other nations, but in the reconciliations," Kissinger said in a statement early yesterday.
"The prize came at the right time," professor of Government Nadau Safran said yesterday. They have agreed on the large principles of a Middle Eastern settlement, but they're ensnared in minor details. The citation will encourage them to look beyond their immediate difficulties," he said.
Some observers disagreed. "The prize is based on an extreme interpretation of 'justice'," Noam Chomsky, professor of linguistics at MIT said yesterday. The Mideast negotiations "are cutting out the rights of the Palestinians. It seems facical to award it to Begin and Sadat," he said.
"I would have elected candidates trying to create a peace within the Nobel Peace Prize stipulations of 'Peace and Justice',' Chomsky added.
In New York, Hasan Abdel Rahman, deputy observer of the U.N. for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said the award "is against the concept of peace and justice."
The PLO and most Arab state oppose Sadat's talks with Israel. They say a separate peace agreement between the two countries will not resolve the political future of the Palestinians.
The White House declined comment yesterday on the award