Oslo borough votes to boycott Israel

Washington – The old Grorud borough district of Oslo, Norway’s capital, voted last week to boycott Israel, Norwegian news service NRK reported Friday.

The motion passed by eight votes to four, led by the Red Party’s Turid Thomassen. The old Norway district also moved to encourage the district administration to prevent Israeli goods, like oranges from Jaffa, from entering Norway.

“This could be the start of a wider boycott movement in Norway,” Thomassen said. “Of course, there are larger economic consequences of [having]… urban districts in Oslo in favor of a boycott, but a trade embargo is nevertheless a clear message that we no longer accept the illegal blockade of Gaza and the occupation of Palestine.”

More municipalities, counties and districts in Norway are submitting proposals to boycott Israel, the report said, and Thomassen said polling shows that the majority of Norwegians want a boycott of Norway.

Following the May 31 high-seas raid and seizure of Gaza-bound aid ships by Israeli forces, Norway’s military sector moved to cancel a special operations seminar, as an Israeli officer was scheduled to give an address at the conference.

There is still resistance to a boycott of Israel. Conservative City Council leader in Oslo, Stian Berger Rosland, said districts are not permitted to boycott Israel, saying if the decisions are not nullified, “we will take the initiative to the City Council that the decision be repealed.”

Aud Kvalbein, Christian Democratic deputy mayor of Oslo, said borough districts fail to realize the country must have one foreign policy, dictated by Parliament.

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