European Jewish Congress
Norwegian Jewish leader: Trade union's boycott vote was antisemitic
Norway
Norwegian Jewish leader: Trade union's boycott vote was antisemitic

In a rare rebuke, the leader of Norway’s Jewish community said that antisemitism motivated a local trade union to pass a resolution urging a boycott of Israel.   

Ervin Kohn, president of the Jewish Community in Oslo, the country’s EJC affiliate, said the vote last week by the assembly of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions “is antisemitic in the way that it singles out Israel.”

“However,” he told JTA in an interview this week, “I’m not so interested in it but rather in ways to achieve peace.”

The confederation, known locally as LO, represents over 900,000 unionised workers in the country – more than one quarter of the adult working population. Its delegates voted 193-117 in favour of the boycott.

“Since dialogue and resolutions have had little effect, there must henceforth come an effort to achieve an international economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel in order to achieve those objectives,” the resolution read.

Leaders of Norway’s small Jewish community of 800 rarely cite antisemitism in explaining the prevalence of anti-Israel attitudes in Norway. Nonetheless, “the vast majority of people in Norway are interested in seeing a safe, secure and democratic Israel,” Kohn said.

A Norwegian government spokesman distanced the Cabinet from the vote and said it does not represent the official position of Norway.

Foreign Minister Børge Brende wrote on Twitter: “Norwegian government strongly opposes Norw Labour Union’s decision: #boycott of #Israel. We need more cooperation and dialogue, not boycott.”

LO President Hans-Christian Gabrielsen’s recommended against passing the resolution.

A spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry called the vote “discriminatory.”

 Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel

Monday, May 22, 2017
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President's Page Security and Crisis Centre by EJC European Parliament Working Group On Antisemitism