Flotsam and jetsam, Friday 27th of May

We Norwegians are obsessed with Israel. Always something, and so rarely anything good.

NRK offers a lengthy article by journalist Dan Robert Larsen, on the situation of the bedouin on the West Bank. This is run of the mill bad-news which we have been drip-fed with for decades. Excerpt:

In his speech al Korshan raised an appeal to the international community over recognition and protection of the indigenous people, living as refuges under Israeli occupation.

Basic human rights are lacking

Korshan’s main message is a deep concern over the problems his people have of surviving the increasing pressure by Israeli occupation in the West bank.

NRK also reports on how Egypt is to open the border to Gaza. If this news affects the Norwegian participants intending to take part in the upcoming Gaza-convoy? We don’t know. NRK did not ask them. We can only imagine that they are jubilant, but just as determined to go as if Egypt were not opening their borders, or if the borders had not been closed in the first place.

As it happens, Hamas is also jubilant. Aftenposten offers a NTB-Reuters-DPA article titled “Hamas jubilant over border opening”. Excerpt:

The Islamists in power on the Gaza strip welcomed the Egyptian government’s decision on yesterday to keep the Rafah border crossing open every day. This will ease the life of the population, lessening their sufferings, an announcement by the Hamas controlled department of the interior in Gaza City says.

The Israeli Minister of Interior Security, Matan Vilnai, however, foresaw the expanded opening of the Rafah crossing would mean great problems.

“This marks the first phase in a system that will be very problematic to Israel”, Vilnai said.

He points out the Israelis are not of the opinion this is in breach of the 1979 peace accord with Israel. However, in the Israeli government there is fear over expanded opening hours leading to more smuggling of weapons and money to the Gaza strip.

When it comes to Norwegian affairs, Progress party parliamentarians Bente Thorsen and Christian Tybring-Gjedde have attempted to instate November 26th as National Holocaust day, as this was the day in 1942 when the Jewish population in Norway was deported to their deaths. The attempt was foiled by the Committee of Churches, Education and Research in the Storting (Parliament).

The majority of the Committee had the opinion the International Holocaust day on January 27th already was integrated in the educational plans of many schools.

Spectacularly, the same Tybring-Gjedde who wants a National Holocaust day has been reported to the police by Labor Youth – for racism. Summary from the NTB article in Fædrelandsvennen:

The youth wing of the Labor party has filed charges against Christian Tybring-Gjedde, member of Storting for the Progressives, with the police, over alleged ”Racism”, after CTB wrote an article pointing out negative attitudes to Norwegian values among Muslims in Norway.

Also of interest is the newly discovered fact that the Kadaffi regime is a stockholder in Statoil. Israelwhat cannot recall any suggestions of boycott of Libya ever having been made, which is strange as long as calls for boycott of Israel are being made all the time. Roar Østgårdshjelten reports on the issue in Aftenposten.

Summary: Kaddafi owned stocks in Statoil estimated to be worth 300 million NKR, report published in Washington Post reveals. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle-east/libyan-gold-rush-followed-end-to-sanctions/2011/05/25/AGGgbVBH_story_1.html)

So authoritarian Libya gets to buy Statoil stock. How about Norwegians, do we get to support Jews in democratic Israel? Yes we do, but Soria Moria is moving in on us and ensuring that gifts no longer will be tax-deductable.

Romsdals Budstikke has an NTB article on the issue titled “Tax deductions for NGOs to be more strictly interpreted“. Summary.

Junior Minister Roger Schjerva (Socialist) of the Ministry of Finance will propose legislation to prevent NGO’s receiving tax deductible gifts for purposes regarded as being contrary to international law, referring to the Karmel-institute, which have financed so-called illegal settlements in the West Bank.

Also, FM Jonas Gahr Støre makes statement:

“Financing settlements in the West Bank is subverting the possibility of a peaceful solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Contributing to such activities is highly blameworthy, and should not take place”.

On the up-side of things, Dagen lets us know that author Jahn Otto Johansen is still alive and well and is attending a meeting on Israel in Ålgård in Rogaland on may 39th.

Dagen also has a piece, by Ove Eikje, on how Håkon Harket, a well known historian and brother of singer Morten Harket, writes new book on official Norwegian anti-Semitism in the 19th century, in the context of the constitution of 1814.

As a end note, observe that the charmingly non-anti-semitic Facebook page “We hate Israel” now has 330 715 members.  Sound healthy to you? Perhaps someone should talk to Mark Zuckerberg. If you by any chance have his ear, let him know.

Ok, that should be most of it. Or rather, Norway being what it is these days, some of it.

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