Leftist Norwegian Finance Minister Kristin Halvorsen caused a stir Thursday by publicly backing a consumer boycott of Israel in solidarity with Palestinians.
Halvorsen, who is also leader of the Socialist Left Party, was quoted as telling the major Oslo tabloid Dagbladet that she had stopped buying Israeli products long ago, and that she supports her party's boycott campaign.
"My and the Socialist Left's goal is for Norwegian consumers to decide to drop products and services from Israel, and make other choices in the shops," she was quoted as saying. The interview was given before Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a stroke on Wednesday.
Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere, of Labor, immediately responded that a government-backed boycott of Israel "would be unthinkable."