Not on the Norwegian agenda

Summer and silly season. Norwegian politicians are busy preparing for the general elections this September (Go and vote! Polls are already open for advance voting!) and the red green coalition is very busy trying to secure some votes, their current strategy being one of despair, trying to frighten voters that if they should prefer the Conservatives in stead of the current govt, Norway will suddenly be a terrible place to live, where acquired rights will cease to exist over night (one must therefore presume that the red greens do not have any actual political solutions to the challenges facing Norway, other than spreading lies about their opponents, good to know in advance).

Apparently the Israel-Palestine conflict will not be on the agenda in these elections; the conservatives have consistently floated the idea to restrict the money flow to the Palestinians, without being hit for it in the polls, so perhaps several factors are at play here. Norway, or rather the incumbent government, has taken a lot of flak for their uneven and disingenuous approach to resolving this particular conflict. This has taken a toll on Norway’s credibility as a fair broker, while at the same time the anti-Semitic fundaments of Norway’s anti-Israel policies have been exposed internationally. In the second place, perhaps also the average Norwegian disillusionment with the multiculti experiment in Norway plays a role and/or perhaps also the scandalous Libya war, or the shameful inaction in Syria or the rapid descent into chaos and violence in the Muslim Brotherhood Egypt (which Norwegian pundits were quick to describe as “moderates with no islamist agenda”)?

But as wannabe world class diplomats try to catch a ride on the current “Peace in the Middle East train” (naughty me, I almost wrote peace in our time…) and Kerry remains optimistic about some elusive peace deal, surprisingly few are interested in discussing why the peace talks have been stalled for such a long time in the first place (Abbas could have gotten East Jerusalem and most of the West bank but turned the opportunity down). As pressure mounts on Israel to give until it hurts (once more), few if anybody at all – of importance any way, unless you count the Swedes – have bothered to ask what might inspire Abbas to continue to turn down opportunities to sit down and negotiate. More than one Israeli pundit are now questioning this: Are the Palestinians interested in peace? After all, Sadat wanted peace and got peace, King Hussain wanted peace, and got peace – Abbas says he wants peace, now how come he cant get it?

lifted from


Why PA sets preconditions



Op-ed: If Palestinians had their way, Israel would be eliminated in favor of Arab state on all the land

Dan Calic

The time has come to reveal the Palestinians’ true colors. While world leaders attempt to cajole and nudge the two sides into negotiations, only one side consistently says it is ready to sit face to face without preconditions – Israel. The Palestinians, on the other hand, refuse to meet unless Israel agrees in advance to several demands. This should be a red flag indicator of their disingenuous intentions.

In March, when President Obama met with Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah he publically criticized him, saying “preconditions are pointless.” Ignoring the president, Abbas continues to restate his list of demands, which include Israel stopping construction on land which he assumes is going to be theirs if they achieve statehood. My question is – without a formal agreement on statehood or borders, how can they demand cessation of construction? Where should construction continue? They’re placing the cart before the horse.

Another precondition is Israel must agree to end the “occupation” and return to pre ’67 borders. If the so-called “occupation” is preventing peace, why was there a need to fight a war in 1967 when there was no “occupation”?

For the record, the so-called ’67 borders are in fact the demarcation line when hostilities ended in 1949 after the War of Independence. They have never been formally accepted as “official.” Israel is entitled to “secure and defensible borders,” according to President Obama, especially when you consider virtually the entire Arab world has been hostile toward it since 1948.


The ’67 lines, if they became official borders, would leave Israel a mere nine miles wide north of Tel Aviv, where 70% of its population and 80% of its industry is. Having a hostile enemy within a few hundred meters is not a “secure and defensible border” when your country is so small.

Another in the list of demands is forfeiting eastern Jerusalem, which contains the Western Wall and Temple Mount. This is the holiest place on earth for the Jews. Giving this up would be tantamount to a body without its heart. Abbas has just restated his accusation that Israel is attempting to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and previously said taking Jerusalem away from Israel is a “fard ayn,” or Islamic obligation.

Keep in mind after the Six Day War of 1967, when Jerusalem became unified under Jewish control for the first time in almost 2,000 years, Moshe Dayan made a huge gesture of good will by relinquishing control over Temple Mount to the Muslim Wafq. To reinforce this commitment, Jews are barred from praying on Temple Mount and are routinely arrested by Israeli police if they do. In contrast, Muslims enjoy complete freedom of worship throughout all of Israel.

For all their precondition demands, what have the Palestinians offered in return?


  • Have they offered to recognize Israel’s right to exist?



  • Have they offered to drop their demand for the so-called “right of return,” which would eliminate the Jewish majority in Israel?


  • Have any of them (Fatah, PLO, Hamas, etc.) offered to alter their charters, which call for Israel’s destruction?


  • Have they said they will renounce any future land claims once an agreement has been reached?


The answer to each question is “no.”So what is the actual aim of the Palestinians? Is it peace and coexistence with the Jewish state of Israel? The demand for preconditions exposes their true intensions. Moreover, if Israel agreed to all the preconditions, would there be anything left to negotiate?

The Palestinians do not wish to see a Jewish state of Israel as their neighbor. In fact, if they had their way Israel would cease to exist altogether in favor of one Arab state of Palestine covering all the land Israel sits upon. This is confirmed on the websites of Fatah, PLO and Hamas, all of which show a single state of Palestine in green, covering the entire State of Israel. Yet we hear no calls by world leaders to alter these images.Recent press reports indicated Mahmoud Abbas had agreed to re-engage with Netanyahu without preconditions. However, senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat called the reports “Total nonsense. How could anyone on the Israeli side actually believe the PA would ever agree to negotiate before Israel meets the minimum required precondition of acknowledging a PA state on the entire pre-1967 West Bank?”

The reason they are inflexible with precondition demands is because they actually have no desire to “negotiate.” Negotiations require compromise, which means they would have to give up some of what they demand. This, from the Palestinian perceptive, is incomprehensible. Their demands are viewed as ‘holy.’ Anything characterized as ‘holy’ cannot be compromised. This is considered blasphemy, which is punishable by death. No Muslim wants to risk taking such action. Thus, if the Palestinians accept the State of Israel, allow it to maintain its Jewish majority, keep Jerusalem undivided, and have secure and defensible borders, they would be deemed blasphemers. As difficult as it might be to accept this notion, it is in fact the unspoken reality of the situation.

Most of the world has yet to wake up to this. Thus, when faced with preconditions seen as holy, versus committing blasphemy, the choice for Palestinians is an obvious one. It is to this Israel and all those who long for peace are being held hostage. This is why the Palestinians demand preconditions and don’t want a two-state solution. If they truly wanted a two-state solution it would have happened long ago. Their goal is Israel’s elimination.


Dan Calic is a writer, history student and speaker. See additional articles on his Facebook page

4 comments for “Not on the Norwegian agenda

  1. Ellen
    July 1, 2013 at 7:35 am

    The Red-Greens’ scare tactics seem to backfire on them good and well, if the comments to that article is anything to judge by. I hope they keep it up. 😀 What do you think they’ll suggest next? The Blue will introduce capital punishment? Children with left-handedness must be aborted, or the parents won’t receive any benefits? Siw and Erna will apply to have Norway added as the 58th American state? (Hey, Obama says there are 57 states, and he should know since he’s visited them all. And is the president.) Teachers will be persecuted for teaching natural history? Girls and boys must continue to have separate changing rooms?

  2. Martin
    July 2, 2013 at 7:56 am

    Anybody with any knowledge of current history and an open mind must be aware that the Muslims will not accept Israel under any conditions.. When an Israel or westerner talks of peace, This concept is not the same as it is to an Arab. There are variations in meaning to the Arab version of peace. I am trying hard to think of one Islamic country without disputes, internally or externally.

    Insofar as a second state is concerned. This is hogwash. Israel and Jordan are two states out of the original Palestine. Having another state with the colonial name of Palestine (which will please the British Foreign Office wallahs) makes it a three state solution. And solution is definitely the wrong word to use here, that is for sure.

  3. de Bacle
    July 2, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    “..Their [arab muslims] demands are viewed as ‘holy.’ Anything characterized as ‘holy’ cannot be compromised. This is considered blasphemy, which is punishable by death.”

    Well, Egypt and Jordan compromised.

    Dan Calic has more uncertainties in his analysis than he pretends.

  4. FG
    July 3, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    de Bacle forgets two small details. 1. They (Egypt and Jordan) basically got virtually everything they could ever hope for. 2. Both were dictatorial/authoritative regimes (King or – nominally – President) at the time of “peacemaking”. (They still are…)

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