Norwegian media continue to make a feast out of Israel’s difficulties in finding a suitable venue for its embassy, which both takes security concerns and costs into consideration.
Maybe we shall remind the ironic commentators that there is a very good reason why Israel is particularly sensitive with regards to security; its embassy was blown to bits in Buenos Aires in 1992, the Argentine authorities, under the then leadership of president Carlos Menem, himself a convert from Islam to Christianity, his origin from Syria – but also later presidents, have done very little to actually investigate the terror attack, but it is no secret that Iran and Hizballah were behind this attack as well as the 1994 terror attack on AMIA, the Jewish Mutual Association in Argentina. Both of these attacks claimed 114 lives and scores of injuries.
Lets hope Oslo never gets to explain to the world why diplomatic stations cannot be safe in our country. See below from footage from the embassy bombing in 1992:
Editorial in Dagbladet, on Israel:
Being the host city to diplomatic missions is not a small duty. Oslo has experienced this in later years. Some have very special needs. Some time ago the USA found their embassy next to the Castle being possibly subjected to terrorism. Actually, the building in Henrik Ibsen’s gate has received plenty of physical security measures; its location however, was not regarded as satisfying. After a lot of tussle the embassy shall move to a greater plot in the outskirts of the city.
However, as the Americans got a solution the city and the USA are satisfied with, satisfying Israel has been more difficult. Their embassy behind the Castle has received a protective wall deemed as ugly by the city’s authorities and the National antiquarian authorities. The City has been looking for a fit location citywide; without the Israelis accepting this. But now the Israeli MFA says Norway and Oslo is discriminating against them. This must be a misinterpretation of the endeavors of the city of Oslo. Israel has a reasonable need of security also in our capital. However, it having so far been impossible to satisfy them; they should perhaps ask themselves : Are we setting demands it is impossible to satisfy?
Embassy of Israel in Oslo.
NE Nyheter 2012 02 21, Dag Jørgen Saltnes
The Embassy of Israel is on the move; however, they have trouble finding localities in the fashionable areas of town. They by now hold the opinion the Akershus Eiendom is discriminating them. Akershus Eiendom was hired to find fit localities; however, so far all alternatives have been rejected. The embassy has approached the MFA to receive aid; in a letter it is stated they feel badly treated by Akershus Eiendom.
“We have attempted to aid as best we can, with what we have to offer. We hold the opinion we have done this to the best of our abilities; having received the response they are not interested is such alternatives as we have proposed to them”, says the leader of the board, Roar Sandnes, of Akershus Eiendom, to NRK.
According to NRK; Israel has rejected several alternatives over being too costly, at 50 000 NKR per square meter for an embassy property.
“I cannot regard this as unreasonable prices, we have examples in Bjørvika where DNB has its main offices at 60 000 NKR per square meter and we have sold at Tjuvholmen at higher prices than this”, Sandnes responds to criticism, according to NRK.