Norway split over Israel boycott
From the www.monabaker.com archive (legacy material)
BBC News | 5 January 2005
Norway’s Finance Minister Kristin Halvorsen is backing a planned consumer boycott of Israeli goods, contradicting the coalition government’s policy.
Ms Halvorsen voiced support for a campaign of solidarity with the Palestinians, due to be launched by her Socialist Left party this month.
“It is a long time since I bought any Israeli products,” she told Norway’s Dagbladet newspaper.
Norway’s foreign ministry said such a boycott was not government policy.
Ms Halvorsen insisted she was expressing her party’s view and not that of the government. She would not front the campaign, she added.
She gave the interview before Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a stroke on Wednesday.
Ms Halvorsen’s party is a minority partner in a three-party coalition formed after elections in September, alongside the Labour Party and Centre Party.
Last month, the municipality of Soer-Trondelag in central Norway launched a boycott of Israeli goods and services.
A finance ministry spokesman, Runar Malkenes, told the BBC News website that “there are no moves to push for a boycott of Israeli goods” at government level.
He said such differences of view were part of coalition politics.