lifted from dagen.no
INVITES WILLOCH FOR DIALOGUE ON ISRAEL
Dagen 2012 01 107
Those who condemn Israel are unaware of the factual realities, says Ambassador Naim Araidi.
It is easy to sit comfortably in a western country, solving our problems from afar, says the Israeli ambassador to Norway.
Naim Araidi refers to statements by a retired Norwegian PM, making him very concerned. Kåre Willoch’s resistance towards Israeli policies has given Araidi many thoughts.
“I cannot understand why Willoch is so anti-Israel. I do not understand why”, he says thoughtfully.
Araidi refers to the democratic state of Israel, respecting legal rights, being surrounded by so many states in which this is an illusion, and where Islamic groups receive ever stronger footholds.
“Those who condemn Israel are not well aware of the realities. If Willoch has a solution to this conflict, let him come with his proposal. I would like a dialogue with Willoch, sincerely listening to him.
Talking from his heart.
The Muslim Druze invited Dagen to his home village in Northern Galilee for a talk. He is in Israel for his annual new year’s conference for ambassadors in Jerusalem; and ends this by spending two days with friends and close family.
Naim Araidi is a professor in children’s literature; through 13 years he has been the fulcrum of an international poetry festival in his hometown in Galilee. He excuses himself over having no diplomatic experience. Therefore, he is speaking straight from his heart, not caring too much over other’s opinions on his statements.
Power crazed leaders.
There are no serious issues between Israel and the Palestinians, Araidi says.
“Most Arabs in Israel are living an excellent life, functioning well with their Jewish neighbors. The problem are the Palestinian leaders- power crazed leaders who are indulging themselves with money donated to the PA by Western countries. They live like VIPs, frolicking in luxury, while their people suffers”.
“Israel wishes for peace and would immediately enter new negotiations on the spot, and the Palestinian people also wish for peace with Israel. The problem are Palestinian leaders not recognizing the right of Israel to exist; being under pressure by extreme religious groups to continue the conflict”, Araidi says.
“The other reasons for the conflict are armed extremist Pal-Arab groups. They construct a conflict in order to justify their cause”, says the recently minted ambassador.
We refer to the major plans over constructing settlements in so called Palestinian areas, however Araidi refutes this as preventing a solution to the conflict.
“The settlements are not the problem, mostly they are being built in areas in which few or no Palestinians are living. In Israel, 1.6 million Arabs live, enjoying all rights and privileges. Jewish settlers ought to be granted the same rights in a new Palestine. The problem is, nobody can guarantee respect for the human rights of these settlers in the new state”, Araidi points out.
“They promise a democratic state; however one cannot talk about a Palestinian state if they cannot guarantee full freedoms to everyone living there. And their first act must be to recognize Israel.
 Term used by the journalist.