Former Ambassador Says Israel Uses Violence and Torture
OSLO, Norway (AP) _ Israel uses violence and torture to oppress Palestinians, a former Norwegian ambassador to Tel Aviv said in an interview published today.
Torleiv Anda, 68, retired from diplomatic service last summer after having served in Israel since 1984.
″Little by little, I had to turn completely around in my conceptions about Israel and its form of democracy,″ the Oslo newspaper Aftenposten quoted Anda as saying in an interview.
Aftenposten said Anda would publish a book in two weeks’ time entitled ″Intefadeh. Revolt Against Israel,″ in which he criticizes Israeli policy and occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
″If I was asked about my main reason for having lost so much belief in Israeli democracy,″ Anda said, ″I would have to say it is the question of punishment forms and the judicial system. The incomprehensible and unappreciative corruption in the administration of justice has discredited itself far beyond Israel’s borders.″
Anda also said his attitude to the PLO has changed:
″When I came to Israel, I had a quite banal and vulgar conception of the Palestine Liberation Organization as being a terrorist organization. But gradually I discovered that PLO consists of a lot of clever and very honest people.″
He said there is no other alternative to the PLO in the occupied territories and that the group must be dealt with in any peace negotiations. Israel refuses to negotiate with the PLO because it considers the group a terrorist organization.
Since taking over power two weeks ago, Norway’s new non-socialist government of Jan P. Syse has signaled it would place more critical demands on the PLO and give stronger emphasis to Israel’s right to secure and recognized borders.
Foreign Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik last week refused to meet with PLO representatives attending the annual convention of Landsorganisasjonen, the Confederation of Norwegian Trade Unions.