Israel Resource Review 11th May, 2002


Peres Centre Investigated by Norway's Foreign Office
Rolleiv Solheim
Correspondent, Norway Post

The Norwegian Foreign Office (UD) has started investigating the Peres Peace Centre in Israel, and into the way the centre has used Norwegian monitary contributions.

It was the Peres Centre that awarded a peace prize worth US$ 100,000 to Mona Juul and Terje Roed-Larsen.

The centre has received Norwegian grants worth NOK 10 million over the last five years. The centre's main intention was to improve relations between Israeli and Palestinian youth.

-UD now wants to know if the money was spent for the intended purpose, says press spokesman Victor Roenneberg. UD has asked office of the Auditor General of Norway for assistance in going through the accounts submitted by the centre.

UD is of the opinion that Norway's Ambassador to Israel, Mona Juul, and UN Envoy Terje Roed-Larsen contravened the Civil Service Act when they failed to inform the department of the cash involved in the peace prize awarded by the Peres Peace Centre in 1999.

The two each received a cheque in the amount of US$50,000, as part of the prize awarded for their contribution towards the process which resulted in the so-called Oslo Accord.

This article ran in the Norway Post on May 7, 2002

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Why are Readers of HaAretz Angry?
Haggai Kraus
Correspondent, Maariv

These are hard times for the Schocken Group and for Ha'aretz. One week after the publication of a letter from Irit Linur in which she announced that she was canceling her subscription to the newspaper -- a letter that sparked a huge storm -- a new storm has arrived. Army Radio's Amit Segal reported yesterday that Ha'aretz has experienced a wave of subscriptions cancellations, and that the paper has provided a list of special instructions in order to give the newspaper's sales representatives tools to respond to readers who want to cancel their subscriptions. The list includes answers to questions raised by angry subscribers, under the heading, "Key sentences in response to opposition to a 'left-wing newspaper.'"

The wave of cancellations marks the peak of a trend that began at the outbreak of the Intifada. Segal also reported that many newspaper stands in Tel Aviv have refused to sell local papers published by the Schocken Group after one of them ran pictures of Yigal Amir next to pictures of the prime minister on the front page.

Many Ha'aretz readers feel that the left-wing line that the paper takes in its reporting of the events over the past year and a half are not something that they can come to terms with. In the letter sent to Ha'aretz to cancel her subscription, Irit Linur describes the problem: "Ha'aretz has reached a stage at which its anti-Zionism too often becomes stupid, bad journalism, and even if it is hard for me to decide which of the two bothers me more, I am sick of both of them. I am tired of reading in every TV review, whether written by Rogel Alper, Sagui Green, Benny Tzipper, or Aviv Lavie, that the central problem of all of the news programs, every broadcast, before and after an attack, is too much patriotism and that the military reporters are working for the IDF spokesman. I think that they are wrong and boring, and that their working assumption is dishonest and estranged from the reality and the place where they live."

As is noted above, the publication of the letter created a wave of cancellations of subscriptions, and sources at the paper report angry letters from readers canceling their subscriptions because of "the extreme pro-Palestinian line" taken by the paper.

This piece ran in Maariv on May 11, 2002

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