- We need a stronger European and global position for the State of Israel and the Jewish people! was the message today when Tomas Sandell, the Finnish-born, Swedish-speaking founder and director of European Coalition for Israel (ECI) in Brussels spoke to the Israel Caucus of the Norwegian Parliament.Hans Fredrik Grøvan and Tomas Sandell at the meeting today
It was Jan-Aage Torp, the leader of the European apostolic movement and pastor of Oslokirken, who had invited Sandell to Oslo with support from the businessman Eirik Daniel Hansen of Morgenstjernen AS. They both accompanied Sandell in the Parliament today. In addition to the meeting in Parliament Sandell addressed a group of Christian leaders and businessmen at a seminar on Israel at the adjacent Cafe Christiania.
The Israel Caucus in Parliament has 36 members in the present parliametary period from almost the whole political spectrum, and the chairman is presently Hans Fredrik Grøvan (KrF). Among the active participants today were the vice-chairman of the Progress Party (Frp), Per Sandberg, and the parliamentary leader of the Christian Democratic Party (KrF), Hans Olav Syversen, who is also the chairman of Parliament´s finance committee.
Sandell conveyed perspectives on international law, Palestinian-Arabs right-to-return, unilateral Palestinian declarations, the future of a Palestinian state, corruption in international aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA), the boycott of Israel, Israel´s innovation power in academia and technology, Jewish settlements, the status of Jerusalem, Norwegian cooperation on the Middle East with the Euopean Union, European nations, and international bodies.
The deliberations flowed freely during the two-hour long meeting, and there were clear messages from the Members of Parliament in attendance that Norway´s stance on Israel has changed in a positive direction since Foreign Minister Børge Brende took office five months ago. Sandell was told that Norway is about to adopt pro-Israel policies.