The Norwegian government convened a forum of 100 statesmen, negotiators, peace
mediators and journalists from around the world on Tuesday but, to the
consternation of Jerusalem, did not include anyone from Israel.
Norwegian government, according to one Israeli official, is taking advantage of
the “peace label” that has been linked to Oslo in no small part because of the
Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestinians, yet did not feel the need to
include Israel in its annual parley.
“The Norwegians are reaping the
benefits of the celebrity the Oslo Accords have given them, without feeling the
need to invite us,” one official said, adding that the snub is a manifestation
of Israel’s increasing international isolation.
According to the Oslo
Forum 2010 Web site, the Oslo Forum, which began Tuesday and will end on
Thursday, “regularly convenes senior conflict mediators, high level decision
makers and key peace process actors in a series of informal and discreet
retreats to share their experiences, identify challenges and reflect on their
own and others’ practice.”
“If there was a peace meeting in Kinshasa or
Bogotá, that would be one thing. But it is odd not to invite a single Israeli to
a conference like this in Oslo,” the official said.
Among those who were
invited were Palestinian Legislative Council member Ziad Abu Amr, Sein
President Gerry Adams, former UN secretary- general Kofi Anna, former
president Mohammad Khatami, and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet
One Foreign Ministry official said it was strange that
Davutoglu was there to speak about Turkish mediation two years ago in
Israeli-Syrian indirect talks, without any Israeli representative.
more problematic, the official said, was that Davutoglu used his
the forum to unleash yet another tirade against Israel in the
Norwegian Ambassador to Israel Jakken Biorn Lian responded by
saying that the Oslo Forum is “called each year to assemble people with
experience in peacemaking.
“This year the Mideast is not on the agenda –
Sudan and Afghanistan are on the agenda, and therefore the question of
Palestinians and or Israelis never arose,” he said.