Sunday 26 April 2009

Gry Larsen, political adviser to Norwegian FM, no friend of Israel

"[Prime Minister Kjell Magne] Bondevik ought to be conscious of the fact that he has invited a war-criminal [Ariel Sharon]." (Gry Larsen, political adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, 2003)

Unfortunately, this type of rabid anti-Israeli stance and obsession is common among the political classes in Europe.

Source: Norway, Israel and the Jews blog

Archive: 2006 article in Dagbladet on Gry Larsen, political adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Here is an unauthorized translation from Dagbladet on January 8th 2006. Observe that following the conflict the article covers, adviser Gry Larsen retracted her support for a boycott of Israel and toed the official party line.

"Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre’s closest adviser Gry Larsen, wanted to bring Ariel Sharon to trial for war-crimes. She still leads AUF which wants a full boycott of Israel. Støre refuses to comment upon the case. (Gunnar Thorenfeldt)

It is not only SV (Socialst Left) which desires a boycott of Israeli goods. Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre’s political adviser, Gry Larsen, leads an organisation which supports boycott of Israel and believes Ariel Sharon is guilty of war-crimes.

Arbeiderpartiet’s (Labour’s) youth-wing, AUF, have for many years been part of the Boycott Israel campaign. Additionally it is part of the interntaional Tear down the wall campaign and is a member of the Norwegian Association of NGO’s for Palestine.

AUF-leader Gry Larsen has previously stated that she wants to see Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon brought to trail for war-crimes.

On June 16th 2003 Gry Larsen held an appeal outside of the Parliament under the parole "Bring Ariel Sharon to trial for war-crimes". The Prime Minister at the time, Kjell Magne Bondevik, had invited Israel’s Prime Minster to Molde, which Larsen reacted strongly to.

- Israel has occupied Palestine, they bear the main responsibility for the conflict. Bondevik ought to be conscious of the fact that he has invited a war-criminal, Larsen stated to Dagbladet.

Israel expelled Larsen

In 2003 Larsen was declared an enemy of the state of Israel. When she attempted to visit Israel in 2003 she was stopped at the Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv. After lengthy interrogations and examinations of her luggage, she and another AUF-member was denied entry to Israel on grounds of being a threat to security.

- I was sent home, treated as if I were a terrorist, says Larsen to Dagbladet about the episode. Later the declaration was withdrawn by the Israeli state.

An occupying force

Today Larsen is political adviser to Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre. But she is also leader of AUF. And the organisation Larsen leads has a clear message.

- We look upon Israel as an occupying force, says AUF’s deputy leader Martin Henriksen to Dagbladet.

The organisation still believes Sharon is a war-criminal.

- We believe that the background for the statement is still correct, says Henriksen. He encourages the government to be more critical towards Israel.

- We believe the Israelis are violating the Palestinians. Therefore I hope that the government manages to balance its desire for a dialogue and is critical when this is needed, says Henriksen.- AUF not aloneStøre has earlier this week critisized SV’s Minister of Finance harshly for wanting to boycott Israel. But he will not critisize his closest political adviser.

- Støre does not desire to comment upon this, says information adviser at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cathrine Andersen.

Larsen was yesterday not accessible for comments as she presently is in the Antarctic. Also the youth wings of the Socialist Left and the Norwegian Centre Pary have supported a boycott of Israeli goods the last four years. But now the youth wing of the Center party says they will reassess the issue.

- We have previously encouraged people not to buy Israeli products, but now we will reassess the issue, says leader of the Centre Party youth wing, Erlend Fuglum, to Dagbladet. He says their reassessment has nothing to do with the conflict over the last few days."

For more on Norway, please visit the invaluable Norway, Israel and the Jews blog (Anti-semitism and the anti-Israel lobby in Norway)

- Norway NGO funding: boycotts and apartheid rhetoric instead of peace and coexistence
- Norway's pro-Israel opposition leader under 24-hour guard
- Norwegian envoy equates Israel with Nazis
- For Norwegian F.M. Europe much too lenient with Israel
- Norway Funding PA Hate Media
- Norway says it has severed Hamas ties

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