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Dateline Aug 27th: US raised academic boycott vote with Norwegian government, Wikileaks shows

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Cables released this week by Wikileaks show that the US government raised with the Government of Norway concern over a motion to boycott Israeli academic institutions at University of Science and Technology in Trondheim (NTNU) in Norway.

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A 10 November 2009 cable with the subject "NORWEGIAN UNIVERSITY TO VOTE ON BOYCOTT OF ISRAELI ACADEMICS" designated "unclassified/for official use only" explains that a US diplomat called a Norwegian counterpart to seek the Norwegian government's views on the upcoming boycott vote. The Norwegian diplomat confirmed that the boycott measure is contrary to Norwegian state policy.

The memo also shows that the deputy chief of mission had also contacted his Israeli counterpart Aviad Ivri "to ascertain the Israeli Mission's responses and actions to date on the threatened boycott."

The Israeli diplomat's response illustrates how the Israeli foreign ministry intervenes to undermine efforts in line with the 2005 Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions.

According to the cable:

[Ivri] said the boycott proposal had been preceded by a series of six anti-Israel lectures at [Trondheim], which began in September 2009. The series, entitled "Israel-Palestine conflict: what is research-based knowledge?" had been supported by [Trondheim] Rector Torbjoern Digernes. The Israeli Embassy in Oslo wrote a letter to Digernes, raising objections about the series, to which the rector chose to respond in blog postings. These postings generated a worldwide debate "which the rector lost," according to Ivri. He added, "This all happened before we discovered the coming vote (at [Trondheim University] on the proposed boycott)." Ivri said another blogosphere debate over the boycott has since taken place, which, he said, "the university again lost."

NOTE THAT NO MILITARY ISSUE WAS INVOLVED, BUT THE U.S. WAS SECRETLY INFLUENCING A NOMINALLY INDEPENDENT FOREIGN GOVERNMENT (NORWAY).

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I have a law degree (Stanford, 66') but have never practiced. Instead, from 1967 through 1977, I tried to contribute to the revolution in America. As unsuccessful as everyone else over that decade, in 1978 I went to work for the U.S. Forest (more...)
 
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