Norway Memorial 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A Jerusalem Post editorial published July 25 on the massacre in Norway three days
earlier triggered an avalanche of critical talkbacks and letters to the
Anders Behring Breivik confessed to detonating a car bomb outside
Oslo’s government headquarters that claimed eight victims and then shooting dead
69 people, many of them teenagers, at a summer camp on nearby Utoeya Island
exactly two weeks ago.
The editorial squarely condemned the attack,
saying that “as Israelis, a people that is sadly all too familiar with the
horrors of indiscriminate, murderous terrorism, our hearts go out with empathy
to the Norwegian people.”
However, it also, inappropriately, raised
issues that were not directly pertinent, such as the dangers of
multiculturalism, European immigration policies and even the Oslo peace
“Your editorial, while insistently condemning the violence in
Norway, shockingly and shamelessly attempts to offer justification for his
extremist violent act of terror,” wrote Esam Omeish in one of many letters to
the editor, several of which were published in the paper.
the editor-in-chief, immediately posted the following statement on our website,
JPost.com: “As a newspaper, The Jerusalem Post
strongly denounces all acts of
violence against innocent civilians. This editorial is not aimed at deflecting
attention from the horrific massacre perpetuated in Norway, nor the need to take
greater precautions against extremists from all sides.”
Contributing Editor Caroline B. Glick suggested in her column last Friday, the
fact that Breivik’s warped mind cited a group of conservative thinkers including
herself as having influenced his thinking in no way reflects on them.
a rule, liberal democracies reject the resort to violence as a means of winning
an argument. This is why, for liberal democracies, terrorism in all forms is
absolutely unacceptable,” she wrote. “Whether or not one agrees with the
ideological self-justifications of a terrorist, as a member of a liberal
democratic society, one is expected to abhor his act of terrorism. Because by
resorting to violence to achieve his aims, the terrorist is acting in a manner
that fundamentally undermines the liberal democratic order.”
emerged that Breivik, a Christian radical, had posted on the Internet an
extremely anti-Muslim manifesto that supported far-right nationalism and
He apparently feared that a “Muslim colonization” of Europe
would destroy Norway.
This is certainly not the kind of support Israel
needs. It is the type of Islamophobia that is all too reminiscent of the Nazis’
attitude toward the Jews. Jews, Muslims and Christians in Israel and around the
world should be standing together against such hate crimes.
should be stressed, swiftly and strongly condemned the attack in Norway. Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a statement saying that Jerusalem identified
with the “deep pain and grief” of the Norwegian people.
Ministry said that Israel “expresses its shock at the revolting terror attacks
in Oslo, which have taken the lives of innocent victims.”
“Nothing at all
can justify such wanton violence, and we condemn this brutal action with the
utmost gravity,” the Foreign Ministry statement said. “We stand in solidarity
with the people and government of Norway in this hour of trial, and trust
Norwegian authorities to bring to justice those responsible for this heinous
President Shimon Peres telephoned Norway’s King Harald V to
express Israel’s condolences.
“Your country is a symbol of peace and
freedom. In Israel, we followed the events... in Norway and the attack on
innocent civilians broke our hearts. It is a painful tragedy that touches every
human being,” Peres said. “We send our condolences to the families that lost
their loved ones and a speedy recovery to the wounded. Israel is willing to
assist in whatever is needed.”
In today’s paper, we are publishing an
opinion piece by Norway’s deputy foreign minister
, Espen Barth Eide, in which he
thanks Israeli leaders “for their kind and comforting words” but expresses
dismay over comments made by two Jerusalem Post
At the same
time, he titles his column, “A time to heal.”
We echo his wish, and hope
that the Norwegian government and people will accept the Post
’s apology and
forgive us for any offense or hurt caused by our editorial and columnists at
this sensitive time.