Norwegian union angers Israel with boycott

Relatives of Palestinian Saba Obaid mourn during his funeral in the West Bank town of Salfit. (Reuters)
Updated 12 May 2017
0

Norwegian union angers Israel with boycott

OSLO: Norway’s biggest trade union voted Friday in favor of a boycott against Israel, a decision immediately condemned by Israeli diplomats who judged it “immoral.”
The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) went against a recommendation from its leadership and voted 197 to 117 in favor of an international economic, cultural and academic boycott against Israel because of the current impasse over the Palestine issue.
LO, which also called for Norway to recognize a Palestinian state according to the 1967 borders, was criticized by the government.
“Norwegian government strongly opposes Norw Labour Union’s decision: #boycott of #Israel. We need more cooperation and dialogue, not boycott,” Foreign Minister Borge Brende wrote on Twitter.
Israel’s Embassy in Oslo said it “condemns in the strongest terms” the boycott.
“This immoral resolution reflects deeply rooted attitudes of bias, discrimination and double standard toward the Jewish state,” ambassador Raphael Schutz wrote in an e-mail to AFP.
Noting that LO had also called for the dismantling of a wall erected by Israel separating it from the Palestinian territories, Schutz said that “by adopting these positions LO placed itself shoulder to shoulder with the worst enemies of Israel.”
Norway hosted Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in the early 1990s that led to the now-defunct Oslo accords.


Turkish court rejects Australia’s request to extradite Daesh recruiter

A Turkish soldier is seen in an armoured personnel carrier at a check point near the Turkish-Syrian border in Kilis province, Turkey. (REUTERS)
Updated 20 July 2018
0

Turkish court rejects Australia’s request to extradite Daesh recruiter

  • Ties between Turkey and its allies fighting Daesh, particularly the United States, have been frayed by Washington’s support for the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia
  • Australia had been pressing Turkey to extradite Prakash since he was first detained

SYDNEY: A Turkish court rejected an Australian request to extradite a citizen it believes is a top recruiter for the Daesh group, Australia’s foreign minister said on Friday, in a setback for Canberra’s efforts to prosecute him at home.
Melbourne-born Neil Prakash has been linked to several Australia-based attack plans and has appeared in Daesh videos and magazines. Australia has alleged that he actively recruited Australian men, women and children and encouraged acts of militancy.
“We are disappointed that the Kilis Criminal Court in Turkey has rejected the request to extradite Neil Prakash to Australia,” Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in a statement.
“We will continue to engage with Turkish authorities as they consider whether to appeal the extradition decision,” she said.
Australia had been pressing Turkey to extradite Prakash since he was first detained there nearly two years ago.
Australia’s Daily Telegraph newspaper reported from Kilis that Prakash was initially ordered to be freed but was later charged under Turkish law with being a Daesh member.
A spokesman at Turkey’s foreign ministry in Istanbul had no immediate comment and the Turkish embassy in Australia did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
Ties between Turkey and its allies fighting Daesh, particularly the United States, have been frayed by Washington’s support for the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which Ankara regards as a militant group.
Canberra announced financial sanctions against Prakash in 2015, including anyone giving him financial assistance, with punishment of up to 10 years in jail.
The Australian government wrongly reported in 2016, based on US intelligence, that Prakash had been killed in an air strike in Mosul, Iraq. It later confirmed that Prakash was detained in Turkey.
Australia raised its national terror threat level to “high” for the first time in 2015, citing the likelihood of attacks by Australians radicalized in Iraq or Syria.
A staunch ally of the United States and its actions against Daesh in Syria and Iraq, Australia believes more than 100 of its citizens were fighting in the region.