Norwegian Politicians Challenge Funding of PA After Report on Anti-Israel Incitement
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Jordan’s King Abdullah II last week in Amman to discuss the peace process, according to a report in Agence France-Presse (AFP).
“The Norwegian report [on the state-owned NRK channel] drew a direct connection between the PA’s promotion of hatred and terror glorification and the Norwegian funding of the PA, at 300 million kroner a year ($52,628,700),” according to PMW.
Several high level Norwegian leaders, including leaders of the opposition parties—the Conservative Party, the Progress Party and the Christian Democratic Party—challenged the Norwegian foreign minister, Barth Eide, over the funding.
“We must use the power we have, and as a major donor to the PA, we must fight fire with fire and say that we will stop the aid unless the PA takes immediate action to stop this type of hate message,” said Morten Høglund, foreign policy spokesman for the Progress Party, PMW reported.
Eide defended the funding of the PA as an essential part of the process towards a two-state solution and said that he expressed his concern to the PA and was satisfied with their response.
“Now I really need to emphasize that the response from [PA] President Abbas’s office yesterday, in conversation with our envoy, was that they also denounce this, and that they wish to pursue this. I take that as a positive sign. We are going to follow up [and see] that they actually do it,” the foreign minister said, according to PMW.
Norway has played a major role in the Arab-Israeli peace process. Its capital of Oslo played host to secret negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization, which eventually lead to the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords.