Yesh Atid chairman and former Finance Minister Yair Lapid urged former President Barack Obama to return the Nobel Peace Prize he was awarded in 2009, if an investigative report regarding his administration’s behavior towards the Hezbollah terror group is correct.
Speaking with party members on Monday, Lapid responded to a report released by Politico early Monday morning which claims that the Obama administration systematically shielded the Hezbollah terrorist organization from prosecution, blunting the efforts of the Drug Enforcement Administration to crack-down on Hezbollah’s global drug trade and money laundering rackets.
“If the report is correct,” Lapid told party members at a Yesh Atid meeting Monday, “then Barack Obama must return the Nobel Peace Prize he received.”
In October 2009, Barack Obama, who entered office that January, was selected for that year’s Nobel Peace Prize.
Lapid said he could not confirm the report, but that if it is accurate, it would confirm Israel’s greatest fears regarding the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
“First of all, at this point all we have is an investigative report on a respected website, so we don’t know if it’s true or not. But if the report is correct, then Barack Obama must return the Nobel Peace Prize he received.”
“Israel warned time and again that there cannot be a connection between the nuclear deal and counter-terror activity, especially against Hezbollah,” continued Lapid. “We warned specifically [about this linkage], because of the known link between Hezbollah and Iran.”
According to the Politico report, in 2008 the Drug Enforcement Administration launched what was dubbed “Project Cassandra”, a secret criminal investigation into the Lebanon-based Shi’ite terror group Hezbollah.
Working in tandem with 30 American and foreign law enforcement and investigatory agencies, the DEA operation tracked Hezbollah’s drug trafficking, gun-running, and money laundering schemes over the course of eight years. The terror group’s overseas organized crime operations are estimated to earn the group some $1 billion annually.
The Obama administration blocked Project Cassandra, investigators allege, as part of its efforts to reach a deal with Iran over its nuclear program.
“Hezbollah is using so-called legitimate businesses to fund, equip, and organize [its] subversive activities,” former Treasury official Katherine Bauer told a House committee in February.
“Under the Obama administration, however, these investigations were tamped down for fear of rocking the boat with Iran and jeopardizing the nuclear deal.”