News
MPs Argue Over Gaza, Ambassador Responds To Protests

MPs Argue Over Gaza, Ambassador Responds To Protests

Words by

Published November 21, 2012

Members of parliament engaged in a heated debate over the current military conflict between Israel and Gaza yesterday. Meanwhile, the US ambassador to Iceland has posted a statement on his blog responding to Monday’s protests.
The Israel/Palestine question can spark rather passionate rhetoric between people, and members of parliament are no exception. DV reports that Independence Party chairman Bjarni Benediktsson set off a heated debate over the issue himself in parliament yesterday.
“The spark that ignited this powder keg came from Hamas,” Bjarni said, adding that Hamas has in the past said that it is their goal to wipe out Israel. “Such a policy I do not understand.” He also said that he believes Iceland should stop pressing for the United Nations to recognise Palestine as a sovereign nation.
Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Árni Þór Sigurðsson retorted that Hamas has actually changed their position concerning Israel, wanting peaceful co-existence and putting the onus on Israel to make that happen, but that it remains the policy of Israel to wipe out Palestine.
Social Democrat MP Mörður Árnason responded to Bjarni, saying, “The Israeli Minister of the Interior has said that the purpose of the attacks should be to bomb Gaza back to the Middle Ages,” referring to comments made by Israeli Minister of the Interior Eli Yishai, who indeed did say that the “goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages.”
“And here comes the chairman of the Independence Party saying that Israel should stand by its principles? This is not how people talk, Bjarni!,” Mörður said.
In related news, US ambassador to Iceland Luis E. Arreaga has posted a statement on his blog in response to last Monday’s protests. Here is the statement in full:

Many Icelanders came to the Embassy yesterday to express peacefully their views about the ongoing conflict in Gaza. They asked for the United States to intervene to stop the conflict and prevent the loss of life. The United States favors a lasting peace that includes the creation of a Palestinian state living side-by-side with Israel. We also recognize the right of Israel to defend itself against attacks on its population. Both President Obama and Secretary Clinton are indeed engaged and working with leaders in the region to find a diplomatic solution to the conflict. In fact, Secretary Clinton is on her way to the region where she will visit Ramallah, Jerusalem, and Cairo to consult on the situation in the region. She will emphasize the United States’ interest in a peaceful outcome that protects and enhances Israel’s security and regional stability; that can lead to improved conditions for the civilian residents of Gaza; and that can reopen the path to fulfill the aspirations of Palestinians and Israelis for peace and security.



News
<?php the_title(); ?>

No Horse In Our Beef

by

A comprehensive round of testing of beef products across Europe has revealed almost no traces of horse meat in Europe beef and none in Iceland, reports Vísir. The European Commission described the results of the testing as encouraging following last year’s horse-meat scandal, in which millions of ready-made beef meals were pulled from supermarket freezers across Europe.  European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, Tonio Borg, has said the results prove that there has been progress following the events of last year.  According to the report, 10 tests were conducted in Iceland but none showed traces of horse DNA.

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Interior Minister Scandal Causes Tremors In Parliament

by

Members of parliament are sharply divided on how to contend with the news that Minister of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir may have tried to influence the police investigations of her ministry. Shortly after news broke from DV that Hanna Birna had allegedly told then Commissioner of the Capital Area Police Stefán Eiríksson, both in person and over the phone, that she was unhappy with how investigations of her ministry were being conducted, Parliamentary Ombudsman Tryggvi Gunnarsson spoke with both Stefán and State Prosecutor Sigríður Friðjónsdóttir about the story. After his conversations with the two, Tryggvi sent a formal request

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Puffin Hunting “Unsustainable And Unethical”

by

Iceland’s puffin population has hit such low numbers that hunting the birds has sparked strong criticism. The Nature Office of South Iceland has released their findings of a detailed puffin census conducted around the country. Of the dozen nestings areas that were inspected, all of them showed a sharp decline in the number of young puffins. “The Nature Office of South Iceland condemns the decision made by the Westman Islands town council to allow for the hunting of puffins for five days this summer,” their statement concludes. “The office considers hunting puffins in these conditions to be unsustainable and unethical.”

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Protest Planned Outside US Embassy

by

The Association Iceland-Palestine has planned a peaceful protest outside the American Embassy on Laufásvegur today at 17:00, reports Vísir. The purpose of the protest is to demand the American government step up its efforts to end the conflict in Gaza and cut off support for the Israeli military through aid and ammunition. Although the White House condemned the shelling of a United Nations-operated school in Gaza on Wednesday news has broken that the Pentagon will supply the Israeli military with new ammunition to further their campaign on the war-ravaged city. According to the Association Iceland-Palestine’s Facebook page 830 people have confirmed they

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Best Place To Cool Off On One Of Those Icelandic Scorchers

by

It’s 15 degrees. Fahrenheit? No, Celsius. Shorts weather? Fuck you, it’s underwear weather. The sun bears down on a thick, humid Reykjavík day. The sunbathers in Austurvöllur have burnt to a crisp. You’re parched, you’re sweaty. Does anywhere in this country have air conditioning? You look out to the harbour, considering a dip, but no—with all those ships, it just doesn’t seem safe…Where do you go? What do you do? But then common sense kicks in. “Duh,” you think, and your feet follow. You thought you could get away with not wearing deodorant in Iceland? You stink. You’re a zombie

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Baby Taken From Pram Outside Home

by

Police were called to the scene after a mother – who was letting her 16 month old nap outside her home in Vesturbær – found the baby had been taken from its pram, reports Vísir. Three police cars were sent to the scene though they quickly discovered that a relative had passed by and taken the baby, leaving a note in the pram to say where they had gone.  The baby has been safely returned to its parents and is doing just fine. Recently the Icelandic habit of leaving babies outside to nap in prams, both at home, or in front

Show Me More!