Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Foreign Minister Shimon Peres is currently meeting with officials in Norway. Initial reports in Jpost focus on his discussions with boycott-advocating labor leader Gerd Liv Valla (who Peres' criticizes as "misinformed") and his shrugging off previous criticisms from the Nobel Prize committee.

According to the Norwegian paper Aftenposten (link via Bjorn Staerk), however, Peres made the unparseable remark that the Oslo agreement is still alive because

it maintains that there can't be any peace in the Middle East unless the Israelis reach an understanding with the Palestinians.

Peres is continuing to conduct his own foreign policy, but this is a tolerable price to pay for a unity government.

[Norwegian Foreign Minister] Petersen noted that Norway maintains close relationships with both sides in the Mid-East conflict, but doesn't hesitate to speak up when criticism is called for. Norway has criticized, for example, Israeli "liquidations," the use of Palestinians as human shields and the destruction of Palestinian homes.

Petersen uses rhetorical inflation when talking about the Israelis and is willfully blind when he looks at the Palestinians.

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