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THE NORWAY CONNECTION III...
MORE ROT AT OSLO'S CORE

Observers of the Oslo process initially attributed Norway's involvement in Middle East peace efforts to the confidence that country's leftist government enjoyed with Israel's Labour Party. "The role and credibility of Norway was significantly enhanced by the fact that it is not a member of the European Community and therefore not tainted by the [EU's] perceived pro-PLO bias," The Jerusalem Post reported in September 1993.

Recent revelations, however, have shown that almost all of Norway's top politicians, including just-resigned Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, and three foreign ministers, Thorvald Stoltenberg, (minister when the secret Israeli-PLO meetings began), Johann Joergen Holst, (who died of a heart attack after overseeing the signing of Oslo I), and Bjorn Tore Godal (the current minister), are long-term supporters of the belief that a Palestinian state should replace all of Jewish Israel.

As reported last May, Tore Godal was chairman of the Labour Party's Youth Organization (AUF) when, 25 years ago, it committed itself to "support the forces which struggle for the national and social liberation of the Palestinian people". "The qualification for lasting peace," the AUF insisted, "must be that Israel ceases to exist as a Jewish state, and that a progressive Palestinian state is established where all ethnic groups can live side by side in complete equality".

Now we can reveal that, six years later, top Oslo Accords architect and Norway's recently appointed minister of planning, Terje Roed Larsen, was on the editorial committee of the Norwegian publication Palestine News (Issue No1) when it stated: "Fight the Zionistic State of Israel, US imperialism, and the enemies of the Palestinian people in the Arab world. 'No' to a two-state solution - support the battle for the liberation of all of Palestine."

Israelis will most recently remember Larsen as the man who, with a spring in his step, entered the building straddling the "border" between Gaza and "Israel proper' on September 4 to witness the latest fruits of his handiwork - the first meeting and handshake between Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Right now, Larsen is battling for his young political life after a Norwegian tabloid on November 10 fingered him for financial mismanagement of state-sponsorship to the tune of millions of Norwegian kroner, accusing him of breaching Norway's strict institution governing laws.

According to the Dagbladet reports, the Institute for Applied Social Science (FAFO), which Larsen headed, never accounted for a government subsidy it received in 1989-1991. FAFO was at the centre of secret talks leading to the Oslo agreements, with both director Larsen and researcher Marianne Heiberg (Holst's wife) actively involved.

On November 13, Dagbladet reported that the Norwegian parliament had cut financial support to FAFO.

The scandal, which broke just two weeks after Larsen's appointment to the cabinet, could deliver a damaging blow to the new prime minister, Thorbjoern Jagland, who, according to the press reports, knew about the alleged mismanagement before he appointed Larsen.

For his part, Jagland last month revealed his long-term love affair with the PLO when, during his inauguration as Brundtland's successor, he proudly recalled his meeting "'in the darkness of the night" with Arafat in Beirut in 1978 - at a time when the PLO was raping and pillaging Lebanon, and hijacking and killing civilians on buses in Israel.

FROM THE EDITOR
It's no longer news that the Oslo Accords are morally rotten. By turning a mass murderer and his designs into a globally lauded statesman and cause, instead of punishing him for crimes against humanity, the "'Oslo process" has done nothing less than richly reward the man most responsible for bringing the concept and experience of terrorism into our lives.

Slowly, the lies on which this wall of false peace was built are surfacing. Interestingly, the revelations relate to many of the men and women who maintained they had the best interests of Arabs and Jews at heart when they set up the secret Israel-PLO meetings in 1993.

Nothing built on so shaky a foundation can stand. Whether at Hebron, or Jerusalem, this process is bound to collapse, and great will be its fall.

Meanwhile, international anger and frustration against Israel is mounting by the hour, with news organisations like the BBC raging against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for opposing the desires and aims of the entire world.

To encourage Israel's leader in these lonely times, Norma Archbold - writer of "'The Mountains of Israel" - sent Netanyahu an open letter in which she reminded him of Israel's millions of Christian and Jewish friends: "'We are behind you - a powerful force more compelling than the empty cardboard men who seek to prevent the Jewish people from rejoicing in the promises of God. And daily our numbers grow as more people recognise the absolute evil of forces that seek to destroy the Jews.

"'There is no turning back. Where will you go? We are a high wall behind you and we will not retreat. So there is only one choice. Stand up to the enemy and be true to God and to your friends."

May these words, and many other similar sentiments, reach the prime minister's ears, and strengthen him.


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