World Jewish Congress thanks Norway FM for opposing labor union's boycott of Israel
Fri, 19 May 2017
NEW YORK - The World Jewish Congress has thanked Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende for his “clear and vocal” opposition to a decision made by the country’s largest trade union to boycott Israel.
The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) represents over 900,000 unionized workers in the country – more than one quarter of the adult working population. Its delegates voted 193 to 117 in favor of a boycott of the State of Israel, despite opposition from the cabinet and against LO President Hans-Christian Gabrielsen’s recommendation not to pass the resolution.
Foreign Minister Børge Brende wrote on Twitter last week: “Norwegian government strongly opposes Norw Labour Union’s decision: #boycott of #Israel. We need more cooperation and dialogue, not boycott.”
In a letter to Minister Brende, WJC CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer wrote:
“On behalf of the more than 100 Jewish communities worldwide represented by the World Jewish Congress, including the Jewish community of Norway, I wish to express my sincere appreciation for your clear and vocal opposition to the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions’ decision to boycott Israel.
"As you so aptly said, 'We need more cooperation and dialogue, not boycott.' Israelis and the Palestinians must work together to build bridges and advance closer to a peaceful solution. Boycotts of Israel will only further distance both sides from this necessary goal.
"Thank you for showing the State of Israel and Jewish people worldwide that we have a friend in the government of Norway on whom we can count at this critical moment in history.”
Meanwhile, Ervin Kohn, president of the Jewish Community in Oslo, said the the vote “is anti-Semitic in the way that it singles out Israel.”
"However,” he told JTA in an interview, “I’m not so interested in it but rather in ways to achieve peace.”
We welcome any comments you may have on this article. Comments are moderated and we reserve the right to edit or remove any which are derogatory or offensive. The WJC is not responsible for the content of any comments.