Norway rejects Trump’s Israel policy

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The City of Oslo had already banned the purchase of any goods or services from Israel’s settlements in occupied Palestinian territory when state officials spoke up as well in defense of Palestinian rights. They’re strongly criticizing US President Donald Trump’s decision last week to reverse 41 years of foreign policy against settlements on the occupied West Bank, and view them as legal.

Norwegian government ministers and Members of Parliament have been rarely unified in their opposition to Trump’s new policy to condone the highly disputed Israeli occupation. Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide, who considers the US Norway’s greatest ally, criticized Trump’s reversal, claiming it “does not bring us closer to a political solution to the conflict” between the Israelis and Palestinians. She stressed that Norway’s main goal has always been to see “two states living side by side in peace within secure and internationally recognized borders.” She fears that Trump’s latest concession to Israel “can make the work towards peace even more difficult.”

Jonas Gahr Støre, leader of the opposition Labour Party and a highly acclaimed former foreign minister himself, called Trump’s reversal “an historic injustice on the part of the USA.” He declared on social media that Israel’s ongoing occupation of Palestinian land violates the international rule of law.” Audun Lysbakken of the Socialist Left party (SV) called Trump’s decision “incredibly dangerous,” likening it to “blanket approval” for Israel “to carry on its aggressive settlement policy and steady annexation of the West Bank.”

As other politicians and the EU also condemned Trump’s move, the City of Oslo could already note that it took “an historic step” last month in banning the Israeli settlements’ goods and services from public procurement. The move came, according to a press release from the local BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) Movement, “despite concerted efforts by Israel and its right-wing allies in Norway and worldwide to repress accountability measures in support of Palestinian rights.” Norway’s capital and largest city became the sixth Norwegian municipality and second county to ban settlement goods and services in Norway.

newsinenglish.no staff