The editorial of the Jerusalem Post last week is entitled "Apology to Norway" and can be summed up thus:We hope that the Norwegian government and people will accept the ''Post’s apology and forgive us for any offense or hurt caused at this sensitive time. Even for those surprised by such a statement, the key to understanding this apology is here:...it [the editorial] inappropriately, raised issues that were not directly pertinent, such as the dangers of multiculturalism, European immigration policies and even the Oslo peace process.If so, it should be not only appropriate but actually legitimate, in a way that is not necessarily directly connected to the bombing and shooting in that quiet Scandinavian land, to bring up Norway''s support for boycott, which coincidentally, was being inculcated into the minds of those murdered just the day before at that island summer camp. Inculcation?Well, that is the only way I can describe this remark by one of the participants, later interviewed, who informed us: Many people thought that it was a test ... comparing it to how it is to live in Gaza. So many people went to him and tried to talk to him, but they were shot immediately."
Is that the proper imagery that should go through someone''s mind in such circumstances? Or is that reaction one that stems from a very anti-Israel rhetoric being pushed by the major political party - not some NGO or radical group - in Norway? Is there not something very wrong here?On that background, the statement of the Norwegian Ambassador in Israel (and I have found no clarification) was quite accepted as being a comparison that seemingly justified Arab terror against civilians. This statement:"...We Norwegians consider the occupation to be the cause of the terror against Israel,"whose subtext was plain, as Barry Rubin notes: Norway is a country that isn’t supposed to have terrorism committed against it. But Israel is a country that deserves to have terrorism committed against it.Alan Dershowitz''s response was...there are many Norwegians who not only justify terrorist attacks against Israel, but praise them, support them, help finance them, and legitimate them...they will persist in their bigoted view that Israel is the cause of the terrorism directed at it, and that if only Israel were to end the occupation...The time is long overdue for Norwegians to do some deep soul searching about their sordid history of complicity with all forms of bigotry ranging from the anti-Semitic Nazis to the anti-Semitic Hamas. There seems to be a common thread.And in Ambassador Svein Sevje adding this"Can Israel and the Palestinians solve the problems without Hamas? I don''t think so." he made it quite plain that there is a political conceptualization which integrates his warped worldview. Taken to the extreme, it informs us that if terror achieves peace, it is helpful. Hamas, bad as it may be, is an instrument for Norway. In Norway, they do not promote the planting of bombs in restaurants, but those that do can assist the efforts of peace in that they must be included in the peace process for otherwise there can be no peace. That approach is simply political terror, lacking in all morality.
Is it, in these circumstances, possible or proper to ask for an apology from Norway?