Friday, 4 September 2009


Norway has refused to invest any of the $400 billion in the 'wealth fund' managed by its central bank in an Israeli company, Elbit Systems, that has supplied surveillance equipment for the Separation Wall built in part on Palestinian territory.

The Norwegian finance minister is unequivocal in saying that this is because of the direct violations of humanitarian law involved.

But Norway is a semi-detached European; a member of the economic area but with no voice at the EU table in Brussels. Pity. I wish the EU's full members would display similar courage. Where were the French when Alstom won the contract to build the new metro that serves the huge illegal Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem? Is there anything left of an ethical British policy?

The Norwegian government has a distinguished record of speaking out against the Israeli occupation. Perhaps you will never get the German government to follow suit - the accusation of anti-semitism that would immediately be levelled would cause political problems in a country struggling with the guilt of its history - but why do all the others stay silent, or refuse to back up their gentle words of criticism with any practical action?

Instead of hiding behind Obama it would be refreshing to hear at least one EU government saying loudly and clearly that EU policy in the Middle East must stop cow-towing to Israeli oppression and sidestepping the reality of military occupation.

1 comment:

Bruno said...

And how many US, European, and, heaven forbid British companies is Norway currently investing in which helped NATO and others this week to kill and maim civilians in Afghanistan?

Let's put it all on the table, and then shed some non-hypocritical light on the whole business.