he Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) voted 197 to 117 in favor of an international economic, cultural, and academic boycott of Israel on Friday. The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, which campaigns for Palestinian rights, hailed the LO’s move as a necessary means to secure fundamental Palestinian rights.
“By courageously heeding the Palestinian BDS call…, LO joins some of the world’s most important trade union federations… in calling for meaningful BDS pressure on the corporations and institutions that have enabled decades of Israeli occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid,” said the BDS national committee. It also expressed hope for close cooperation with LO to translate the new policy adopted by the trade union “into effective measures of accountability at the academic, cultural and economic levels to uphold human rights and international law.”
It further urged LO to exert pressure on the Norwegian government to cut its military ties with Israel and to divest funds from all companies complicit in the regime’s occupation and settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories.
However, Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende criticized the boycott, writing on Twitter that the “government strongly opposes Norw Labour Union’s decision: #boycott of #Israel. We need more cooperation and dialogue, not boycott.” Additionally, Israel’s Ambassador to Oslo Raphael Schutz denounced the boycott as “immoral,” saying he “condemns [the measure] in the strongest terms.”
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