The Norwegian chapter of the Young Men and Women’s Christian Association is encouraging a “broad economic boycott” of Israeli goods in sympathy with the Palestinian cause, the group wrote on its website last week.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) on Sunday posted translated excerpts from the announcement that was originally published in Norwegian.
The YMCA-YWCA of Norway, whose Norwegian acronym is KFUK-KFUM, wrote that it “encourages broad economic boycott of goods and services from Israel and Israeli settlements to pressure the Israeli government to follow up on U.N. resolutions and end the illegal occupation of Palestine.”
The statement would suggest the Norwegian branch of the iconic organization has gone beyond some other pro-Palestinian activists in calling for a boycott not only of goods produced in Israeli settlements – that is Jewish communities in east Jerusalem and the West Bank – but also “goods and services from Israel” in its entirety.
Israeli Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman Paul Hirschson told TheBlaze on Sunday, “They’re completely out of step with the entire world with the exception of those who seek the destruction of the State of Israel.”
“As such, they’ve put themselves beyond the pale outside of accepted conversation,” Hirschson said. “Anyone who has any interest in conflict resolution as opposed to the pursuit of conflict knows that the goal is to bring people together not to push them apart.”
The director of the Norwegian group “With Israel for Peace” Conrad Myrland told the newspaper Vart Land, “The only result is that YMCA-YWCA now supports boycotting the only democracy in the Middle East.”
“I encourage all individuals and churches to withdraw their support of YMCA-YWCA until the immoral boycott action is abandoned,” Myrland added.
The blog Israel What which tracks anti-Semitism and anti-Israel activity in Norway suggested the boycott announcement is not yet the final word.
“As for the YMCA-YWCA’s decision, keep it up, from what I can gather there is a furious response from outraged parents in the brewing, but what else can be expected from what remains of the Church of Norway,” the blog noted.
JTA reported that the Norwegian branch of the international organization boasts of 30,000 members “in over 500 different chapters and affiliated Scouts groups,” making it one of the largest and oldest youth groups in the country.