Pal Com blames MIFF for increased trade with Israel

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Growth in Israeli imports to Norway

Despite the boycott of Israeli goods, imports from Israel to Norway increased by two percent in the first half of this year.  The Palestine Committee is surprised by the development.

By: Ove Eikje
The preliminary figures for the Norwegian foreign trade Dagen has obtained from Statistics Norway show that imports increased from 435 million to 443 million last year.

During 2011, Israeli imports to Norway grew with a record  NOK 722 million.
– Negative figures

– I am surprised by these numbers, and find them very negative. But I see it in the context of the action by the Organization With Israel for Peace (MIFF) is running currently, Sverre Johnsrud tells Dagen.

He is a member both of the national board and executive committee of the Palestine Committee.
– Why rising imports from Israel despite the boycotts?

– It is because we have many players who are not reluctant to profit on goods from an occupying power. They should hold themselves too good to trade with Israel, Johnsrud responds.

Cheers and joy

But friends of Israel are pleased and happy with the trade result.

– It’s very nice that there is progress with regard to import Israeli goods to Norway, Member of Parliament Jorund Henning Rytman (Progessive party), head of Israel’s friends in Parliament, said in a comment to Dagen.
He is not surprised that imports increases, even if it has been a number of symbolic politics of boycott of Israeli goods from some politicians and organizations.
– We have seen demonstrations, as well as destruction and harassment of street vendors offering Israeli goods.
But it’s not that easy to boycott Israeli goods as some believe. In that case they must  stop using computers and mobile phones, which contain many Israeli components, Rytman said .

Quality Products
– But what do you think is the reason that there is an increase in imports of Israeli goods – while it has been frequent boycotts against precisely these goods?
– I hope and believe that this shows that the Norwegian people are against the boycott coalition politicians are staging against Israel. Moreover, there are many quality products coming from Israel. For that reason our Petroleum Fund also invests in Israeli companies, Jorund Henning  Rytman says.

He is also a member of the Norwegian Israeli Chamber of Commerce, working to forge contacts between Norwegian and Israeli businesses.
Less exports to Israel
As regards the export of Norwegian goods to Israel, it has dropped from 293 to 228 million kroner in the last six months compared to 2011. This is a reduction of 23 percent, according to preliminary figures from Statistics Norway.
– I hope we will see increased trade with Israel in the future, Jorund Henning Rytman says.