Norwegian politics, still existing within its own upside down, inside out world.
Norway and other European obstacles to peace
Attacking PMW for exposing hatred, and not the PA for promoting hatred, is a failure that will postpone peace for another generation.
For two months, Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide has been questioned by his parliament’s Scrutiny Committee because the Foreign Ministry has been giving false information to parliament since 2011. The Foreign Ministry had denied that the Palestinian Authority pays high monthly salaries to security prisoners, among them convicted terrorists. Palestinian Media Watch, where I am a senior analyst, exposed these PA salaries already in 2011. These salaries are paid from the PA’s general budget, which is funded in part by Norway and other international donors.
At the time, Norway’s Foreign Ministry refused to accept PMW’s reports, basing itself on false data supplied by the PA. Had the ministry seriously studied our reports, Norway would have learned in 2011 that the PA has a special program to give salaries to prisoners, including those convicted of multiple murders.
Finally, two months ago Eide acknowledged that the information the Foreign Ministry had been giving to parliament for two years was false. However, Eide’s public response since then has been a great disappointment.
In an interview to the Norwegian newspaper Dagen, he did not criticize the PA for lying to Norway, nor did he condemn it for using donor money to pay salaries to convicted terrorists. He did not challenge the PA’s ethical foundations as supporters and glorifiers of terrorists and murderers, nor did he explain his ministry’s so-called “imprecise” statements to parliament.
Instead, Minister Eide criticized the research institute where I work, saying that PMW is “against the two-state solution” and “considerably to the right of the Israeli government.”
These claims have no relevance to the PA’s transfer of Norwegian money to terrorists, and are also groundless. Instead of acknowledging that PMW correctly exposed the PA’s unethical behavior and unethical use of Norwegian funding, he chose to attack us, the research institute that was the messenger.
I write now not only as a representative of PMW but as a Scandinavian from Denmark, a non-Jew married to an Israeli. Exposing hatred and terror glorification, which are serious impediments to peace, is something all Scandinavians who hope for peace should support. PMW has documented that the PA is not only paying salaries to terrorists, but is also glorifying them, and promoting hatred through many different branches of government that receive donor money. In addition, money is fungible, so even if the PA says that international funding is not going into the bank accounts the prisoners have designated, funding the PA’s general budget facilitates these payments to terrorists as well as PA hate promotion and terror glorification.