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      Kaare Kristiansen, Friend of Israel, Passes Away

      Kaare Kristiansen, who resigned from the Nobel Peace Prize Committee in 1994 to protest the decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize that year to Yasser Arafat, has passed away.
      By Hillel Fendel
      First Publish: 12/4/2005, 1:00 PM / Last Update: 12/4/2005, 1:47 PM

      Kristiansen, 85, who died Saturday morning, was Norway's Minister of Oil and Energy from 1983 to 1986, and served twice as the leader of the Christian People’s Party, for a total of six years. He was a Member of Parliament for 12 years, finally resigning on the grounds that his party had distanced itself from its original purpose and course.

      The Norwegian Israel Center Against anti-Semitism (NIS) released a statement of condolences, saying Kristiansen "was a truly righteous person [who] never compromised with his deep-felt conviction about things right and wrong. This was clearly demonstrated when he resigned from the Nobel Peace Prize Committee... We have had during a great many years the pleasure of his friendship, [and of] his thoughtfulness and deep understanding of the Jewish people's situation, both here in Norway and in Israel."

      In 1997, Kristiansen led a group of political and religious leaders in Norway in submitting a petition to the country's Foreign Ministry, demanding that the Norwegian Embassy in Israel be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He later visited Israel as part of this campaign.

      He more than once called upon the Nobel Peace Prize Committee to "publicly deplore" its 1994 decision to grant arch-terrorist Arafat the respected prize. In 1997, four years after the signing of the Oslo Agreement, he said that his "forebodings" about the diplomatic process had come true, citing Palestinian Authority corruption, its continued terrorism, and the Arab killings of compatriot land-dealers who sold land to Jews.

      Aryeh Gallin, founder and President of Root & Branch Association, Ltd., said, "In a place where there were few if any men, Kaare Kristiansen was a man."

      Just this past August, Kristiansen expressed his opposition to the Disengagement in an official statement, in which he said,

      "...giving in to Arab terrorist pressure, whether that pressure comes from PLO terrorists or members of other terror groups, adds fuel to the fire of Arab terrorism against Israel. I fear that Palestinian Arabs perceive the Israel Government expulsion of Gush Katif Jews as proof that Arab terror pays after all. I also fear that throughout the world, [it] will strengthen the false belief that the Land of Israel belongs to Arabs and that Jews have no rights there at all.

      "The Israel Government expulsion of Gush Katif Jews is not an internal Israeli affair. It is everyone's affair. This expulsion is an immoral and illegal act violating international ethical, human, legal and social rights.

      "Over a decade ago, I protested as immoral the Nobel Prize Committee awarding a 'peace' prize to Yasser Arafat in December, 1994, and resigned from the Nobel Prize Committee as an expression of that protest then. Over a decade later, I protest as immoral the illegal Israel Government expulsion of the Gush Katif Jews today."