A series of demonstrations in Norway have revealed massive support for Palestine solidarity work from communities across the country. The strong grassroots movement in support of the Palestinian struggle was further bolstered as more public figures came out in support of the Boycott against Apartheid Israel.
***image2***Protests began with a mass demonstration on Saturday 22nd of July. Over 1000 people gathered in Oslo against the latest Israeli terror assaults on the Lebanese and Palestinian people. The protest started in front of the Parliament before moving on to the Israeli embassy. Speeches were made by representatives from the Lebanese community, Norwegian People’s Aid, the Socialist Youth League and several other organizations. The core message of the slogans chanted by the crowd were to, “Stop Israeli terror in Lebanon and Palestine” and “Boycott Israel”. Several of the speakers stated their support for the right of resistance against the Occupation and a focus was also put on the need to immediately dismantle the Apartheid Wall.
The demonstration included the public launch of a campaign to put pressure on the Norwegian government to support the Palestinian people and impose economic sanctions against Israel.
A series of smaller demonstrations were held on the 12th of August, in Stavanger, Kristiansand and other Norwegian cities joining a Global Day of Action. A national demonstration is expected to fill the streets of Oslo once again on the 26th of August.
With this mobilization, and responding to the Palestinian call for cultural boycott of Apartheid Israel, personalities such as the director of the well-known Christian Norwegian record label Christian Cultural Workshop, Erik Hillestad, have come out in support for a boycott of Israeli artists.
âCooperating with Israelis now would be a betrayal of the Palestinian peopleâ, says Hillestad to the second-largest Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet, as he went on to compare Israel with the South African Apartheid regime.
Hillestad has signed an appeal by Palestinian filmmaker Hany Abu-Assad that calls for the breaking of all ties with Israeli artists and cultural institutions. Musician and author Ole Paus, one of the highest selling artists on the record label has readily supported Hillestad. He states: âIsrael has been acting arrogantly towards the international community for a long time. It’s time for us to turn our backs against them.â
While solidarity against Zionist aggression has risen enormously over the last month in the face of destruction and mass killings in Lebanon and Gaza, and calls for boycott and sanctions have multiplied, it is important that this new momentum is maintained. Israeli Occupation Forces might withdraw soon from most of Lebanonâs lands; yet, they continue in daily onslaughts against the Palestinian people and seek global backing for racist policies such as ghettoization and the Apartheid Wall project.