Israel–Norway relations

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Israeli-Norwegian relations
Map indicating locations of Israel and Norway


The Israeli embassy in Oslo, Norway

Israel–Norway relations refers to the bilateral relations between Israel and Norway. Norway was one of the first countries to recognize Israel on 4 February 1949. Both countries established diplomatic relations later that year. Israel has an embassy in Oslo, which serves Norway and Iceland. Norway has an embassy in Tel Aviv and two honorary consulates (in Eilat and Haifa). 553 Israeli citizens live in Norway and 260 Norwegians live in Israel.[1][2]

Political relations[edit]

With Israel for Peace (MIFF), Oslo

In 1981, a group of labour union members founded the organization Friends of Israel in the Norwegian Labour Movement (Norwegian: Venner av Israel i Norsk Arbeiderbevegelse). The purpose was to strengthen relations between Norwegian and Israeli labor movement in an informal and personal way. This was done by sending delegations to Israel, and by receiving visitors from Israel.

Israel's ambassador to Oslo was an Israeli Druze poet and university lecturer, Naim Araidi. His deputy was George Deek, a Christian Arab from Jaffa.[3] George Deek became chargé d'affaires at the embassy till the new ambassador Rafael Schultz started his mission in the summer of 2014.

The leader of the third largest political party in Norway, Siv Jensen is a staunch supporter of Israel, and claim to "not [be] afraid to defend Israel's right to defend itself." She visited the Israeli city of Sderot in the summer of 2008, and experienced the landing of a rocket from Hamas first hand, and said that she and others had to "run for the air-raid shelter". She strongly opposed the Norwegian government's decision to recognise Hamas as she holds that "you don't negotiate with terrorists, you just don't."[4] In January 2009, she appeared at a demonstration called "Let Israel live" in Oslo.[5] The Norwegian Police Security Service feared that Jensen might be the target of an attack although Jensen herself was not concerned.[6] While political scientists had speculated that the Progress Party would lose more voters than they would gain by this strong support for Israel,[7][8] polls showed a slight increase in support for the party.[9]

Military relations[edit]

Flags of Israel and Norway in a Norwegian home

According to the media there are a number of Norwegian soldiers in the Israeli military. In 2007, 24 Norwegian Jews were registered as working for the Israeli military.[10]

In September 2010, after Germany began testing two new Dolphin class submarines for the Israeli Navy, Norway banned them from testing in its territorial waters, due to their possible future role in enforcing the Blockade of the Gaza Strip.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Statistics Norway - Persons with immigrant background by immigration category, country background and sex. 1 January 2009
  2. ^ Number of registered at the embassy. Actual numbers are likely higher.
  3. ^ "Israel Appoints Two Arab Diplomats in Norway". 
  4. ^ Bawer, Bruce (December 2008). "A Norwegian Thatcher?". Standpoint. 
  5. ^ Fondenes, Eivind (1 September 2009). "- Israels krigføring var også terror". TV2. 
  6. ^ "Politiet frykter angrep på Siv Jensen". VG. 8 January 2009. 
  7. ^ "- Frps Israel-støtte gir velgertap". Dagbladet. 8 January 2009. 
  8. ^ Lilleås, Heidi Schei (9 January 2009). "- Siv spiller høyt". Nettavisen. 
  9. ^ Skarvøy, Lars Joakim (13 January 2009). "Dette kan Siv ha tjent på". Nettavisen. 
  10. ^ "Forsvarets forum  » Seksjoner » Aktuelt » Ja, vi elsker Israel". 
  11. ^ "Ynetnews - Homepage". 

External links[edit]