NETANYAHU SAYS YES TO EXPANSION OF SETTLEMENTS
Dagsavisen 2014 10 18 p 19, NTB, Pay wall
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said to have given a green light to accelerate construction of illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian areas. The decision concerns 1060 new housing units for settlers in the annexed East Jerusalem; being made after pressure by settlers and the Right Wing Habayit Hayehudi, Ha’aretz writes. According to this newspaper, no orders for construction have been given; however, escalation of the planning of this housing project has been given. The government has decided to accelerate the planning of about 1000 housing units in Jerusalem, about 400 in Har Homa and some 600 in Ramat Shloma, says a spokesman for Netanyahu. The Palestinians have made clear they regard the Israelis expansion of settlements in the occupied areas as being the major obstacle on the way towards an eventual peace accord. A collective world community demands a full Israeli retreat from East Jerusalem and the West Bank, occupied in 1967.
Also published in other news outlets.. This type of reporting is regarded as factual and balanced information by Norwegian media.
Teknofil.no 2014 10 28, Torstein Norum Bugge
On successful Israeli designs of sun cell panels.
Dagens Næringsliv 2014 10 25 p 28, 29, Kjetil Wiedswang
As Raphael Schutz took over the position of Ambassador of Israel in Oslo six weeks ago; the Embassy published a video to present him on YouTube. Comments popping up became so undiplomatic the Embassy issued a letter to the Oslo police this week.
A formal citation?
“No. but we want to notify the police on the type of ‘hate speech’ out there, says Schutz.
In Israeli media, Norway is presented as a European country in which anti-Israeli attitudes are very much alive. This was used as an explanation to the fact Schutz, a heavy weight in the Israeli MFA, was chosen to the uttermost northern outpost of Europe, having experience from Colombia and Spain.
“I read about these attitudes before arriving, and have only been here for six weeks. In conversations so far, I have never the less not noticed the toxic anti-Israel attitudes Norway is said to be holding a leadership position on. If somebody criticizes the policy of my government; I do not hold it to be an expression of anti-Israeli attitudes. It is legitimate and normal”, Schutz says.
Another explanation of Schutz’ arrival to Oslo- after his predecessor was recalled suddenly this winter over accusations of sexual harassment of Embassy employees- is over money: Israel is about to extract natural gas resources; Norway holds the competence to do it.
“Our bilateral trade is in the scale of about one and a half Billion NOK. This is not much. In the production of natural gas; we have much to learn. Meanwhile; Israel is good at innovation. At a time of dropping prices and increasing costs; Norway has a need over reducing its costs, in this there is a potential”, Schutz says.
Political skepticism is however present, not least after this summer’s conflict in Gaza, leaving some 2000 dead Palestinians and a desperate need over reconstruction- once more. Ever stronger voices in the West says only economic pressure will force Israel to change its attitudes. The British Parliament and the Swedish Government has issued declarations over intents to recognize Palestine- against Israel’s wishes.
“I hold a Palestinian state should be brought into existence. I see no other solutions”, says Schutz.
“But the creation of this state must come as a result of negotiations between us. Changes in attitudes with the British Parliament or the Swedish government changes nothing on the ground. There was a large group of countries existing in 1988 recognizing this Palestinian state. This brought us not a step further towards a solution”, he says.
The Palestinians have been waiting for a long time. When will this state come into existence?
“In my lifetime, I hope. But I used to be more optimistic about it 20 years ago, during the Oslo process. Since then, much confidence has been lost. I will not share the burden of guilt; however, to Israel, this is not about peace with the Palestinians only, but also the Arab world surrounding us”, he says.
“Right now, this may appear difficult, seeing so many of the region’s countries preoccupied with their own internal bloody conflicts”.
Has the Arab spring; and everything ensuing, improved or deteriorated the security situation of Israel?
“I think a long time perspective is a necessity. As I grew up; Israel was under threat by large regular armies. Today, we are at peace with Egypt and Jordan. On the other hand, we are under threat by asymmetric forces by other actors like IS; Hezbollah and Hamas. Taking attention away from these threats is no alternative.
Is authoritarian and stable rule in neighboring countries preferable to chaotic democracy?
“This is a dilemma. Quite many were happy and optimistic concerning the Arab spring. I lived in Spain; and was more of a skeptic. The road from authoritarian rule to democracy is difficult. A democracy is in need of institutions in civil society and rights for minorities and women. This is not a result of an election being arranged. And in Egypt, President Mursi did not understand the first step had to be stability and food in the region.
Political criticism towards Israel is strong in Europe. Never the less, Israel is part of EU’s Horizon 2020 program; Israeli citizens receive an automatic work permit in Europe. Are double standards present?
“I don’t think this is preferable treatment; rather a recognition of Israel being a developed country. Double standards are more to be observed other places; like the UNHCR. In a world in which really terrible events take place, 60 percent of time is spent on raising questions on Israel.
You have four years ahead of you in Oslo. What do you wish to achieve?
“Trade and economic development. The quality of my work will be read in figures”, says Raphael Schutz.
Jewish issues/ Anti-Semitism
JEWISH CEMETARY SUBJECTED TO VANDALISM
Dagsavisen 2014 10 27 p 10, NTB, Pay wall
(Note. This article is given as little space as is technically possible in Dagsavisen)
Several headstones have been subject to vandalism at the Jewish graveyard and a chapel (sic) at Lademoen in Trondheim. Some persons have sprayed (sic) at the headstones; the chapel has had “The Führer” written on it.
“I believe this is more than pranks. Someone have actively searched out this graveyard”; says Rita Abrahamsen. Leader of the board of the Jewish community in Trondheim, to Adressa.no
This has been reported to the police.
PUT AN END TO HARASSMENT OF JEWS
Vårt Land 2014 10 27 p 19, Ann Kathrine Skjørshammer, Not online
Deputy member of Storting for the Christian People’s Party appeal to end anti-Semitism, among European native populations and Muslim immigrants to Europe. She points to the reality of attacks on Jews, also in Norway.
Palestinakomiteen 2014 10 26
No stated author
PalCom to hold seminary on October 30th; guests will be Bassem Tamimi, Mazin Qumsiyeh and Tali Shapiro. Marius von der Fehr will moderate this seminary.
https:// nabisalehsolidarity.wordpre ss.com/
Middle East issues
SOS Children’s villages, No stated author
The Norwegian branch of SOS children villages ask for Norwegian sponsors of children in Gaza. Rather uniquely, their ad also point to children in Israel being traumatized by warfare.
THE KING OF DIPLOMACY
Verdens Gang 2014 10 18 p 3, Harald Berg Sævareid, Not online
Op-ed on the role of Jordan’s King Abdullah; in the context of the Norwegian Royal’s recent visit. The King is described as a master diplomat and politician, in the mold of his father.
On German Jewish refugee Sally Strauss; and his family, who survived WW2, living as next neighbors to a Wehrmacht camp through five years. To achieve this, they received aid not only by Norwegian resistance members, but also from anti-Nazi Germans (actually Austrians).