DISAPPOINTED OVER NEGATIVE REACTIONS
Nordlys 2013 01 17
Sondre Flægstad Koren
Ambassador Araidi comments upon certain reactions in Tromsø:
“I am disappointed with the reactions which have come. If somebody holds the opinion I should not be allowed to come here, this reminds of totalitarian methods, where some people are not allowed to enter. Norway is a democracy. In Tel Aviv, anyone might come, be they from China or Russia”.
The Ambassador stated he does not want to meet with Gaza mayor Mekky.
“As far as I know, he is not elected, but imposed by Hamas, and we have no dialogue with them”.
Nordlys 2013 01 21
Progressive politician Bjørn Gunnar Jørgensen wants to cancel friendship accord between the cities of Tromsø and Gaza.
“I don’t find this natural”, Jørgensen says.
The question has been actualized after Gaza Mayor Rafiq Mekky was a guest to Tromsø Mayor Jens Johan Hjort in last week.
“The Mayor of Gaza is not democratically elected, but imposed by the Hamas terrorist organization”, says Jørgensen. Jørgensen does not care about Hamas winning a democratic election and Norway not regarding Hamas a terrorist organization.
“Norway is one of very few countries not having Hamas in its list of terrorist organizations. In my eyes, Hamas is a terrorist organization”, Bjørn Gunnar Jørgensen says.
He is a very central Progressive politician, seated in the Tromsø municipal council and is also regional secretary to the Progressives in Northern Norway. Formerly, he was a councilor to the Tromsø City Council, consisting of the Conservatives, Progressives and the Liberals.
By this, he criticizes his own regime, and Mayor Jens Johan Hjort.
“I do not think of this. I simply want to make my views clear. I don’t want people connected to the Hamas terrorist organization to cooperate with the City of Tromsø”, Jørgensen says.
He holds the opinion Tromsø and Gaza has nothing in common.“We shall be friendship cities to cities we have something natural to cooperate on. It may be trade, geography or climate conditions. Tromsø has nothing in common with Gaza, says Jørgensen, never the less emphasizing this:
“However, cooperation with civilian NGOs, like the prosthetic workshop, shall continue. They have done, and still does, and important job.
On Monday morning the Mayor of Tromsø Jens Johan Hjort was busy and not available to comment.
He has however spoken warmly of Gaza as a friendship city, and is not hostile to a visit to Gaza. The Gaza mayor has already invited Hjort to Gaza.
“If it fits into my plans, I would like to visit Gaza. It might be an interesting education”, Hjort stated during the visit.
Red politician Jens Ingvald Jensen is not surprised over Bjørn Gunnar Jensen’s initiative.
“The Progressives have proposed this earlier. What is special about this, is the Progressives being in the city council, with the Conservatives and the Liberals”, Olsen says.
He reminds of the fact Hamas is not regarded a terrorist organization by Norwegian authorities.
“I think it should be a minimum demand that one relates to official Norwegian policy, not to the personal opinions of the Progressives or Jørgensen concerning the world in general and the Middle East in particular”