Won it for: His "efforts to create peace in the Middle East"
Why it was a bad call: Arafat, seen as the father of the Palestinian struggle for statehood by his supporters and an unrepentant terrorist by his detractors, has a controversial legacy. What is clear is that throughout most of his career on the public stage, Arafat was a staunch supporter of the use of violence to achieve political goals. Or as he put it after the founding of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO): "Armed revolution in all parts of our Palestinian territory to make of it a war of liberation. We reject all political settlements."
Fatah -- Arafat's faction within the PLO -- was implicated in numerous armed attacks against civilians, both in Israel and abroad, including the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre and the 1985 hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro. He maintained close personal relationships with dictators including Saddam Hussein and Idi Amin.
Arafat recognized Israel in 1988 and signed a number of peace agreements, including the 1993 Oslo Accords, for which he shared the Nobel with Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin. But he rejected a proposed settlement at the 2000 Camp David Summit, raising questions about whether he was ever truly interested in peace at all. In the last years of his life, Arafat is believed by many to have helped plan the Second Intifada, a violent uprising against the Israeli occupation.