As the white smoke was billowing from the Sistine Chapel, rumour had it that the Argentinean Cardinal, Jorge Bergoglio, a Jesuite, was about to secure the cardinals’ vote to win over the throne of John Paul II.
Now, instead of one, there are two Argentineans who might have drawn worldwide attention, this time as candidates to the 2009 Nobel Peace Price.
This is according to the director of the Norwegian Institute for Peace Research (PRIO), Kristian Berg Harpviken, who every year prepares an off the record list of the possible candidates to be considered by the Swedish Committee.
Precisely on that list, appear both the names of the master of the orchestra Daniel Barenboim and of the peace activist Baruj Tenembaum, two Argentineans who reside abroad. The PRIO data coincides with the London betting house Ladbrokes, known as the ”lottery of the Nobel Prize”, which included both of them in the list that was made one day prior to the Nobel Prize announcement.
”My mention took me by surprise” – said Tenembaum to PERFIL, in a phone conversation from Switzerland. ”When my name appeared in the air, I received many phone calls from worldwide personalities”, he added. ”Peace consists of eliminating the enemy by turning him into a friend”. ”It is to sow solidarity among all people”. ”It is the right to be different”, commented this man from Santa Fe, who advocates the Judeo-Christian dialogue and who went to exile in January 1976 after being abducted by the parapolice organization known as the Triple A.
Barenboim, in turn, is a usual and steady candidate for the Nobel Prize, thanks to his efforts aimed at achieving a long-lasting understanding between Palestinians and Israelis. The concert musician conducts an orchestra made of Muslim and Jewish musicians.
To be sure, one will have to wait 50 years to know how close were these Argentineans to embrace the Nobel. Unlike the tigth Vatican secret, after 50 years, the Swedish committee is due to reveal who the candidates were and what was their ranking.