Sunday, October 29, 2006

The post on Norwegian politics

In Norwegian politics, nothing is what it seems. Black is white. War is peace.

For example, the party named the “Progressives” are actually the right-wingers who are friendly with Israel.

The parties currently in power in the coalition government are the Socialist left-formerly in the opposition, the Social democrats, or labor. Then you have the three centrist parties-the social liberals, the Christian democrats. So what exactly is the difference between a social democrat, a social liberal, or a social leftist?

Confused yet? Good, it gets better.

To confuse matters more, members of the Conservative party have actually been some of the most vocal critics of the current Prime Minister’s silence in the face of the arrest of Hamas ministers by Israel this summer, among other Israeli actions.

And-the former Prime Minister, a member of the Conservatives, was, Norwegians tell me, one of the most ardent advocate for Palestinians, arguing that being a Conservative is about protecting international human rights.

And lobbying isn't exclusive to US politics:

A lobby group operating within the parliament since the 1970s, known as “friends of Israel”, also has close ties with the International Church..

The Joint Committee for Israel, a group of ten Norwegian organizations, including one church based one, is friendly with the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem-a mainly Norwegian-membered group of Christian Zionists who have triedto use their influence with the Israeli government to prevent a Norwegian Correspondent from covering the Palestinian conflict.

Norway and Chrisitan Zionists-who would have thought? On the other hand, there are alos a great number of church groups that are very influential in advancing better Norwegian policy towards the Palestinians.

Oh and before I leave it there, at least one more observation on Norwegian culture: I’ve noticed the bedroom I was so kindly hosted in was absolutely freezing-and the window open. I was given loads of blankets to warm up, but was baffled why this was so, until a friend explained it to me: “Norwegians like to keep their bedrooms at least 15 degrees below the temperatures of the rest of the house, and keep the window open when they sleep.”

The reason?

“It’s good for our breathing.”

I suppose, if we are polar bears. Or Norwegian. :)


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