Much to the chagrin of the people working at the NRK, trade between Norway and Israel continues to grow. So how does NRK chose to serve this annoying piece of news to unsuspecting readers? By focusing on the one thing Norway does not sell to Israel… arms… complete with this charming picture that shows the truth of the booming trade
Lifted from nrk.no (google translate)
Thinks arms exports to Israel should be allowed
The Norwegian-Israeli Chamber of Commerce wants the Norwegian export ban of military equipment to Israel to be abolished. Trade with Israel is growing and 2015 was a record year.
While Norwegian exports experience a general decline, the Israeli is market one of the exceptions. Last year, Norwegian exports to Israel rose by 48 percent from 2014.
– Trade with Israel is now increasing. There are about NOK 1 billion in imports and 1 billion in exports, says the director of the Norwegian-Israeli Chamber of Commerce, Trygve Brekke
The Chamber of Commerce is working to create growth and negotiate deals with Israeli and Norwegian businesses, but one industry does not have access to the Israeli market: There are still restrictions on the export of military equipment from Norway to Israel.
Wants ban lifted
The Chamber of Commerce wants Norway to abolish the ban so that Norwegian arms manufacturers can sell their products to the Israelis.
– It looks like Norway once made a unilateral decision which I believe has reached its sell by date. Israel is keen to defend its borders and live safely, says Brekke.
Norwegian-Israeli Chamber of Commerce gets support from among others Friends of Israel in Parliament. Jørund Rytman (FRP) is the head of the group in Parliament. He believes that the export ban of military equipment to Israel should be reassessed.
– I’m positive to liberalize it and especially toward Israel, who is a Western democratic country we should support. I see many paradoxes when I see which countries we are allowed to export to, but not Israel, says Rytman and mentions, among others, Saudi Arabia.
Today there are few in Parliament who wants to change the law as it operates now. The sharpest opponents we find in Socialist Left Party. Bård Vegar Solhjell is the party’s foreign policy spokesman.
– Norway does not sell weapons to countries that are at war or occupying other countries. There are very good reasons. Weapons can be used to break international law. Therefore, we should maintain the policy Norway has resulted in over a decade and rather dense holes in the legislation in place to open up, believes Solhjell.
Norway exported weapons for NOK 2.4 billion in 2015. That was an increase of NOK 600 million and makes Norway the world’s tenth largest arms exporter. It is particularly arms such as bombs, grenades, torpedoes etc., that has increased a lot, according to Statistics Norway.