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Israeli envoy home on harassment claim

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Israeli envoy home on harassment claim
Naim Araidi walks in Oslo - Photo: Israeli Ambassador's official blog
15:52 CET+01:00
Israel's ambassador to Norway has been called home after allegations of inappropriate behaviour from several female Norwegian members of staff at the embassy.
According to Norway's NRK television channel, Naim Araidi returned to Israel on February 14, after a team of Israeli lawyers sent to Oslo judged that the allegations against him, which he denies, could not be dismissed out of hand. 
 
According to  Richard Silverstein, the US-based blogger who first reported the story, the ambassador has, amongst other things, been accused of exposing himself to staff. 
 
Araidi, an Israeli of the Druze faith, was appointed in 2012 to improve Israel's image in Norway. 
 
"He was part of a charm offensive from the Israeli side to soften the Norwegians' view of Israel," Cecilie Hellestveit, an expert on the Middle East at the University of Oslo told NRK. "He has helped to break down prejudice. He has been very important for Israel in Norway because he represented something else." 
 
Araidi, a poet and literature lecturer, told NRK that the allegations are untrue and that he had returned home due to health problems in his family.
 
The Israeli Foreign Ministry would not comment on the matter to NRK today.
 
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