Norway’s Trade Unions Endorse Full Boycott of Israel over Palestine

Photo of author

( — May 14, 2017) — The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) has voted in favor of a total boycott of Israel and everything that comes from this country over Jerusalem’s policy on Palestine.

The boycott applies not only to trade and economy, but everything else, including culture, entertainment, and science.

According the umbrella organization’s newly elected leader, Hans-Christian Gabrielsen, the decision could affect Palestinian workers in Israel, whose situation he described as “fragile.”   

“Many [Palestinians] rely on work in Israel,” Gabrielsen said.

The resolution was passed with 193 votes (some media report 197) to 117 in favor of boycotting Israel, Russia Today reports. “Enough is enough,” said a member of the LO editorial committee, Jan Olav Andersen, who backed the boycott. He argues that 50 years of diplomacy has not made the situation better. Andersen further said that Israel has been for years violating international law by occupying the Palestinian land.

It is not yet clear how exactly the boycott will be implemented, but Norway’s largest labor organization has urged its members to comply with the anti-Israel resolution.

The decision passed by the LO Congress on Friday, has provoked strong opposition from the Norwegian government, which has rushed to dissociate itself from the confederation’s decision, trying to maintain good ties with Israel.

“We need more cooperation and dialogue, not boycott,” tweeted Borge Brende, Foreign Minister of Norway. Israeli Ambassador to Norway Raphael Schutz has condemned “in the strongest terms” the resolution to boycott Israel, describing it as “immoral.”

“This immoral resolution reflects deeply rooted attitudes of bias, discrimination and double standard towards the Jewish state,” Ambassador Schutz wrote on his Facebook page. He accused the LO of anti-Semitism and siding with the enemy.

“By adopting these positions, LO placed itself shoulder to shoulder with the worst enemies of Israel,” he wrote.

Almost all countries in the world recognize Palestine as an independent country. In December 2016, the UN Security Council passed a resolution demanding that Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities” on the occupied Palestinian territories. The US abstained from voting.