Just a day after his own party voted to recognize Palestine, Labour leader Jonas Gahr Støre gathered all his fellow party leaders to issue a joint declaration supporting Norway’s Jewish community.
Prime Minister Erna Solberg of the Conservatives, Finance Minister Siv Jensen of the Progress Party, Knut Arild Hareide of the Christian Democrats, Trine Skei Grande of the Liberals, Trygve Slagsvold of the Center Party, Audun Lysbakken of the Socialist Left and Rasmus Hansson of the Greens wrote a joint declaration that they did indeed “have a heart for our Jewish countrymen.”
They’d been challenged whether that was so in a full-page ad placed in newspaper Aftenposten on Sunday. The ad, signed by a long list of Norwegian business leaders, artists, lawyers and other celebrities, asked the party leaders whether they think Jews in Norway feel welcome, how anti-Semitism can be recognized and fought and how Norway’s Jewish community can be prevented from being held responsible for another country’s politics.
The party leaders chose to answer collectively, in the form of a written response in Monday’s Aftenposten. “I read the appeal over breakfast on Sunday, thought it was natural to answer it and was sure that my good colleagues in the other parties would agree,” Støre, who was in the midst of his Labour Party’s annual national meeting, told Aftenposten.
“It says quite a lot about Norway when in just a matter of a few hours on a Sunday morning, you can make contact with all the party leaders and get a positive response,” Støre said. A draft was formulated through the day, stressing that they shared the concern over rising anti-Semitism and violence against Jews around Europe. They also stressed that it was important everyone, also other minorities, feel safe in Norway and that the Parliament was already working on plans for concrete measures to fight anti-Semitism.