Life in Norway is not perfect, but it’s as good as it gets. With the standard of living being as high as it is, the left-of-centre is left with little else than a passionate hatred of the USA, Israel and the west in general. Now they are at it again. FM Støre turns them down though.
For Støre’s position, see the bottom of this post. For the union demand of boycott, see immediately below:
Nettverk 2011 03 13
Annette Hobæk Ravnsborg
The federation of EL&IT encourages a full boycott of Israel, through buying goods, importing and exporting arms, and in research cooperation. They also want Norway to be in the forefront in the UN in order to make the international community resolve sanctions against Israel.
Today, the annual convention of EL&IT resolved one of the strongest statements ever by a LO affiliated organization when it comes to Norway’s relations to Israel. They are of the opinion it is time to state the truth concerning what is ongoing in the Middle East.
“This is an apartheid regime at least as bad as that in South Africa. I have myself been to Palestine, seeing how the state of Israel treats the Palestinians. Someone must put a searchlight on this theme in a new fashion”, said Hans O. Felix, leader of the union, recommending this statement to the annual convention.
And this the convention did happily.
In their resolution, the EL&IT says the Israelis must bear responsibility over the Palestinians and Israelis not living in peace and security.
“This is an intended policy by Israel who wants to drive the Palestinians out, step by step. In the later wars, the Israelis have chosen to do the utmost damage to the occupied areas. From the use of power, it may seem as the Israelis intend to punish the civil population”, the statement says.
Further than the LO
The EL&IT demands Israel to end its illegal occupation of Palestine, respecting the UN resolutions. They demand a two state solution based on the pre 1967 boundaries must be established, and the wall of shame to be demolished.
They demand the LO must break with Israeli trade union Histadrut. Also, the union will work for a boycott of Israel. Thus, they go further than the LO congress of 2009; where a resolution condemning Israel was made. However, the word boycott was not employed by the union at the time.
EL&IT are of the opinion a boycott must be more than Norwegian consumers no more buying Palestinian goods.
They also want Norway to stop importing and exporting weaponry, nor this taking part with third countries involved. Also, the EL&IT wants a total stop to research cooperation with Israel, and wants Norway to propose sanctions on Israel through the UN.
“There are no equal parties in Israel, and we cannot pretend there are, we must choose sides”, said Jan Olav Andersen, leader of the negotiations department.
The resolution was met with applause. Palestinian trade unions, guests of the conventions, reacted spontaneous. The greeted the convention, visibly moved, thanking for their Norwegian comrade’s support.
STATEMENT ON PALESTINE AND ISRAEL
Nettverk 2011 03 13
Statement on Palestine and Israel.
The EL&IT are of the opinion the Palestinians and Israelis have the right to live in peace and security. The government of Israel must bear the responsibility over this not being the case. The refugee problem must be solved according to the UN resolution no 194. Norway must contribute to the UN following up on the resolutions it has made on Palestine.
In the midst of Palestinian land the Israeli state is constructing illegal settlements. As a result of the Israeli state subsidizing the housing in the occupied areas many chose to move there. This is intended policy by Israel in order to drive the Palestinians away one step at a time and this documents an absence of the will to peace by the Israelis.
The wall of shame is built to prevent attacks from the occupied areas. The wall prevents Palestinians from travelling freely between their homes, schools, place of work, the West Bank and Israel. Also, it is far inside what is internationally recognized as being Palestinian land, preventing many from doing their every day chores, for instance in agriculture.. Where Israelis can travel freely in occupied land in high-grade motorways, without any controls, the Palestinians are relegated to low class roads, as well as countless check points where they are subject to suppression by Israeli soldiers on a daily basis.
Throughout later “wars” Israel has chosen to do the utmost damage to the occupied areas. The use of force indicates the Israelis have a wish to punish the civil population. The Israelis have done their utmost to destroy power supplies, electric installations and other necessary life supporting infrastructure. A bombed out infrastructure only leads to the civil population being made victims. The costs of repairing the infrastructure are high, while the civil population suffers a long time after the cessation of combat, through the destruction of power supplies.
The EL&IT demands:
-Israel must cease its illegal occupation of Palestine, respecting the UN resolutions concerning the rights of the Palestinians.
-A two state solution based on the borders of June the 4th of 1967 must be established.
-The wall of shame must be demolished.
-The illegal settlements must cease and be given to the Palestinians.
-Norway must recognize a Palestinian state within the pre 1967 boundaries.
-LO must break with Histadrut.
-Consumers must not buy Israeli goods.
-Norway must stop the import and export of weaponry and other military equipment to and from Israel. Nor shall such import and export take part from third countries.
-End to all research cooperation with Israel
-Norway must propose sanctions against Israel in the UN.
As it happens, FM Støre turns down the boycott-proposal. From Firdaposten, below:
REFUTES BOYCOTT OF ISRAEL
Firdaposten 2011 03 14
Bjørn Erik Dahl
FM Jonas Gahr Støre refutes demands by trade union to boycott Israel.
“I do not believe boycotts or isolation is the way to go, neither in this nor other conflicts”.
“I regard the statements as an expression of a very strong commitment, which I can understand. It is a commitment against occupation, for having a Palestinian state and for a peaceful solution. But there are means and initiatives with which I cannot agree. Rather, there are several contacts and more commitment, more exposure and more critical attitudes that are needed”.
“This will be a decisive year whether as the two state solution is to be regarded as realistic. But it is important to believe in it, and that it will happen. This fall, negotiations are to come to an end, and also the US President, Barack Obama, has stated the Palestinians would be welcome as a state in 2011”.
“I am not optimistic, rather concerned with the lack of progress. But there are no threats of reprisals to change this. The parties in a conflict may dig even deeper down. It is rather about drawing a picture of the possibilities that may open if a viable peace solution is the way to go”.
“We support the vision of a Palestinian state. 101 countries have recognized the state on paper, but our goal is to make it a reality this fall. If negotiations are not successful, we must evaluate this once more”.