This must sting like a handful of pepper in every anti-Israel eye in Norway. Not only is Norway under the blue-blue govt gearing up to a much closer relationship with Israel over oil and gas and such matters, but also putting their money where the mouth is on anti-Semitism. Former Red-Green minister Kristin Halvorsen was very keen to brag about how much she was doing to fight the scourge of anti-Semitism, yet she allotted insufficient funds to lift those grand plans off the ground. Now, with new govt in place, this money has been made available…
Speech by Prof. Naim Araidi, Ambassador of Israel to Norway
The Israel Energy Conference, November 18th 2013, Stavanger
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure for me to be here today in Stavanger to address you at the first Israeli Energy Conference.
I am delighted to see so many Israeli and Norwegian officials and business people. This illustrates the fact that we can work together in order to promote our economic ties, and by that adding a new dimension to the relations between our countries.
Norway and Israel have always been friends. This is a natural friendship, since both our countries share the values of democracy, freedom and human rights. We are two small countries- Israel has a population of 8 million people, and Norway has a population of 5 million – but the contribution of both of us to the world’s wellbeing, compared to the size of population, is enormous.
Norway is a major donor to the United Nations and plays a key role in conflict resolutions and Aid programs all over the world. Norway also took the world forward with some of the most advanced capabilities, services and technologies in the Oil and Gas sector.
Israel, in 65 years of existence, had a major part in shaping the world we live in today. From revolutionizing agriculture and exporting apples – we are now producing Apple computers. Israel is the Start-up nation that has brought innovation into every field from medicine and science to Hi-Tech and I.T.
However, Israeli innovation never really made it into the Petroleum sector. The reason is obvious- we never had oil or gas.
But today, Israel’s energy sector is undergoing significant changes that will transform the country into a major player, by becoming an energy producer and a natural gas exporter.
This, together with the fact that both in Norway and in Israel we have a new reality- on the political and business levels- paves the way to add a new dimension to the relations between our countries, and strengthen them even more through the Oil and Gas industry.
The discoveries of gas offshore Israel provide a new opportunity to connect people on a new dimension that is built upon the Business to Business level, keeping the governments as facilitators, and no politics involved- only economy.
I believe that economy is the driving force of human society. In the bible, God creates the universe first, and he places man in its center at the end. The universe is a great treasure for the man to tap into, but humanity must also work to preserve that treasure. Otherwise, we will lose it, and lose ourselves with it.
It is our goal to leverage the unique strengths of Norway and Israel in the Petroleum industry in order to tap into the treasure of energy, but also to preserve it by making it friendly to our environment and reduce the pollution of air, water and nature, in a secure and technologically advanced setting.
Norwegian-Israeli cooperation in the energy field will also promote peace in the Middle East, since our region is in dire need of new energy sources. Israel wants to work together with its neighbors and use the natural gas as a tool of cooperation in order to transform the energy sector in our region for the better of everyone.
This conference will connect the Norwegian expertise and leading role in the Petroleum industry with the Israeli innovation. It will provide mutual opportunities and come up with new and better solutions to some of the challenges in the Oil and Gas field – be it in water treatment, environment, technology, prevention of leaks and more- in order to make this industry better, cheaper, cleaner and safer.
Finally, I wish to thank our partners in this conference, the Greater Stavanger and the Norwegian-Israeli Chamber of Commerce, especially Trygve Brekke and Arne Rannestad here in Stavanger, for their invaluable contribution.
Thank you. I wish you all good luck!
FIVE MILLION TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM
Vårt Land 2013 11 20 p 4
“BlueBlue” government grants 5 million NOK to fight anti-Semitism in next year’s national budget. Ervin Kohn of the Jewish community states he is pleased with this, makes additional comments:
“I find this to be great; this is however dependent on how the money is spent’, Kohn says, continuing: ‘We have formerly reacted to nearly all educational efforts and prevention of anti-Semitism being on the Holocaust. This is an error. The history of anti-Semitism is so much older than the Holocaust. This neither began nor ended with the Holocaust”.