Comment: How Israel should face hostile Norway gov't

In order to develop a new attitude toward the Norwegian gov't, one must understand characteristics of country’s “progressive elite.”

August 11, 2011 21:21
4 minute read.
Authorities search for bodies in Utoyea, Norway

Utoeya island 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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In recent years, there have been frequent harsh verbal attacks on Israel initiated by the Norwegian government. The same is true for large segments of Norway’s cultural elite, including many media outlets, several Lutheran bishops, university leaders, trade unions and NGOs. This incitement has remained largely unanswered by successive Israeli governments.

Norway’s government, which is dominated by Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg’s Labor Party, has been soft on Palestinian terrorism, and has even promoted it indirectly. A few examples of the anti-Israeli hostility are enlightening.

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Opinion: Norway's Challenge
Making sense of Norwegian anti-Semitism

Most Western countries do not lend legitimacy to the Hamas terrorists who promote genocide of the Jews. Norway’s Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, however, has held several meetings with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal.

Støre also wrote a back-cover comment for a book by two radical leftist physicians, Mads Gilbert and Erik Fosse. It contains a contemporary version of the blood libel, stating that Israel launched Operation Cast Lead to kill Palestinian women and children.

Last year, the Norwegian Foreign Ministry cosponsored an exhibition in Damascus of anti- Israel hate drawings by the Norwegian artist Hakon Gullvag.

The hundreds of other examples of de facto Norwegian support for Israel’s enemies should have been exposed publicly long ago. The present situation, however, is propitious for a change in Israel’s attitude toward Norway’s establishment.


Anders Breivik’s despicable murders have generated unprecedented international attention for Norway. Before this, the country was usually mentioned only once a year when the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded.

Due to this publicity, far more about the establishment’s anti-Israel stance has become known.

On the island of Utoya, children of 14 years and up were being taught incitement against Israel by the extremist leaders of the AUF, the youth movement of the Labor Party.

Pictures of a poster calling to boycott Israel and of “Gaza flotilla games” will continue to remind many of the hate-character of the camp.

A day before the murders, Støre spoke at Utoya and called for the removal of Israel’s security barrier, which has dramatically diminished suicide bombings.

This is tantamount to the indirect promotion of terror. Støre knows terrorism all too well, having survived an attack in Kabul in 2008 in which a Norwegian journalist accompanying him and five others were killed.

In order to develop a new, coherent Israeli attitude toward the Norwegian government, one must understand the key cultural characteristics of the country’s “progressive elite.”

These include an absence of self-doubt and self-criticism, with an overlay of Marxism.

Such characteristics have bred much arrogance, shamelessness and intellectual dishonesty.

Twisting the truth comes naturally in such an environment, as even obvious lies often go unchallenged by the country’s media. However incredible it may sound, there are many examples of this.

One also has to understand what the Norwegian government’s aims are. It wants to use part of its oil and gas wealth to build a worldwide peace-promoting image for the country.

Deputy Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide wrote last Friday in The Jerusalem Post: “We have a proven track record of committing our political, financial and military resources to peace-building activities around the world, where combating both terrorism and the causes of terrorism are important objectives.”

If George Orwell were still alive, he could have expanded his terminology to include: “Hate-mongering is peace-building” and “Promoting terror is combating terrorism.”

Attacking Israel and ignoring major Palestinian and Arab crimes comes naturally to many among the Norwegian elite. The best way to counter this is by frequently exposing examples of indirect Norwegian support for terror, hate-mongering and double standards, as well as inaction against anti-Semitism by the government.

Due to the recent massacre, a number of foreign journalists have also familiarized themselves with the perversities that permeate Norway’s elite culture. Israeli reactions fighting back are likely now to get more media attention than in the past.

The Israeli Embassy in Oslo has presented a long list of biases on the part of Norwegian State Broadcasting System NRK to its supervisory council, which has waved it away.

People working for such an anti-Israel propagandist body should not be given recognition by Israel’s Government Press Office. NGOs that receive money from the Norwegian government should be scrutinized. How much Norwegian money is used by Palestinians for terror should be investigated. Doing all this is virtually risk-free. The Norwegian government could hardly cause more damage to Israel than it already has, without information about its perverse actions being widely spread.

The Norwegian elite’s culture will not undergo structural change due to the massacre in Utoya. For Israel to modify Norwegian perceptions of it would require suicidal risk-taking. Any successful policy must, therefore, be based on a radically different approach: the continued public exposure of Norwegian hate-mongering, so that its government’s international image becomes as tarnished as its reality.

The writer has published 20 books, two of which address Norwegian anti-Israelism and anti- Semitism.

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