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Norway's Bigotry

Norway's Bigotry

Is terrorism against Israel really more justified than terrorism against Norway?


In a recent interview, Norway's Ambassador to Israel has suggested that Hamas terrorism against Israel is more justified than the recent terrorist attack against Norway. His reasoning is that, "We Norwegians consider the occupation to be the cause of the terror against Israel." In other words terrorism against Israeli citizens is the fault of Israel. The terrorism against Norway, on the other hand, was based on "an ideology that said that Norway, particularly the Labor Party, is foregoing Norwegian culture." It is hard to imagine that he would make such a provocative statement without express approval from the Norwegian government.

I can't remember many other examples of so much nonsense compressed in such short an interview. First of all, terrorism against Israel began well before there was any "occupation". The first major terrorist attack against Jews who had long lived in Jerusalem and Hebron began in 1929, when the leader of the Palestinian people, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, ordered a religiously-motivated terrorist attack that killed hundreds of religious Jews-many old, some quite young. Terrorism against Jews continued through the 1930s. Once Israel was established as a state, but well before it captured the West Bank, terrorism became the primary means of attacking Israel across the Jordanian, Egyptian and Lebanese borders. If the occupation is the cause of the terror against Israel, what was the cause of all the terror that preceded any occupation?

Norway is the most anti-Semitic and anti-Israel country in Europe today.

I was not surprised to hear such ahistorical bigotry from a Norwegian Ambassador. Norway is the most anti-Semitic and anti-Israel country in Europe today. I know, because I experienced both personally during a recent visit and tour of universities. No university would invite me to lecture, unless I promised not to discuss Israel. Norway forbids Jewish ritual slaughter, but not Islamic ritual slaughter. Its political and academic leaders openly make statements that cross the line from anti-Zionism to anti-Semitism, such as when Norway's former Prime Minister condemned Barak Obama for appointing a Jew as his Chief of Staff. No other European leader would make such a statement and get away with it. In Norway, this bigoted statement was praised, as were similar statements made by a leading academic.

The very camp that was attacked by the lone terrorist was engaged in an orgy of anti-Israel hatred the day before the shooting. Yet I would not ever claim that it was Norway's anti-Semitism that "caused" the horrible act of terrorism against young Norwegians.

The causes of terrorism are multifaceted but at bottom they have a common cause: namely a belief that violence is the proper response to policies that the terrorists disagree with. The other common cause is that terrorism has often been rewarded. Norway, for example, has repeatedly rewarded Palestinian terrorism against Israel, while punishing Israel for its efforts to protect its civilians. While purporting to condemn all terrorist acts, the Norwegian government has sought to justify Palestinian terrorism as having a legitimate cause. This clearly is an invitation to continued terrorism.

It is important for the world never to reward terrorism by supporting the policies of those who employ it as an alternative to reason discourse, diplomatic resolution or political compromise.

I know of no reasonable person who has tried to justify the terrorist attacks against Norway. Yet there are many Norwegians who not only justify terrorist attacks against Israel, but praise them, support them, help finance them, and legitimate them.

The world must unite in condemning  all terror attacks, regardless of the motive.

The world must unite in condemning and punishing all terrorist attacks against innocent civilians, regardless of the motive or purported cause of the terrorism. Norway, as a nation, has failed to do this. It wants us all to condemn the terrorist attack on its civilians, and we should all do that, but it refuses to live by a single standard.

Nothing good ever comes from terrorism, so don't expect the Norwegians to learn any lessons from its own victimization. As the Ambassador made clear in his benighted interview, "those of us who believe [the occupation to be the cause of the terror against Israel] will not change their minds because of the attack in Oslo." In other words, 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 (as it offered to do in 2000-2001 and again in 2007), the terrorism will end. Even Hamas, which Norway supports in many ways, has made clear that it will not end its terrorism as long as Israel continues to exist. Hamas believes that Israel's very existence is the cause of the terrorism against it. That sounds a lot like the ranting of the man who engaged in the act of terrorism against Norway.

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.

July 31, 2011

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Visitor Comments: 228

(173) Hilel Salomon, August 27, 2017 8:34 PM

Not surprising

As an American liberal, I am no longer surprised that "socialist" countries are anti-Jewish. Venezuela, Cuba, the Sandinistas.... the list is long. A Norwegian comedian announced that he felt sorry for the "innocent lice" that died in the gas chambers. Was he vilified? No. Of course, this is a betrayal of socialist ideals: women's rights; gay rights, universal health care... I cannot understand why there isn't a Jewish equivalent of BDS against Norway... Actually, I do understand self flagellation among us Jews.

(172) Sheila Novitz, June 26, 2014 5:17 PM

A brief addition

Professor Dershowitz is one hundred percent correct. Is Norway blind, stupid or simply deliberately dishonest? Norwegians only have to read about Arab reaction to the proposal for an Israeli state, about the 1948 attacks against Israel by five Arab countries, and all subsequent attacks - all prior to the
"occupation" - to know that the Norwegian attitude is dishonest.

I would like to add that there were actually two massacres of Jews by Arabs in the 1920s: One in Safed; one in Hebron. (The British jailed the Jews, to "keep them safe." When they were released, their homes had been looted and burnt.) Were the Arabs being "occupied" at that time?

I would also like to add that the Arab boycotts against Jews (buying land in the Middle East) started in 1891. The present BDS is a continuation of that first boycott which has not ever actually ceased. It has simply been taken up with joy by many ignorant people, countries and hate-filled churches - and not EVER with any good, valid, honest reason.

(171) Olav Bergo, December 19, 2012 1:08 PM

Under occupation, resistance is a basic right for the oppressed

There's a great difference between Israel and Norway. Norway does not occupy and terrorise anybody. The last time Norway attacked another country, was in 1066, when the Viking king attacked Britain, and lost. While Israel goes to war again and again, regardless of the global reaction to the senseless and disproportional use of violence.

(170) Peter76, September 11, 2011 5:52 AM

Dershowitz comments

Paul Goldstein-anonymous, I agree with most of your comments, and also think perhaps Mr Dershowitz was a bit hard on Norway, but saying "perhaps some Norwegians have financed terrorist actions" is absolute nonsense. Since most of your facts are correct, you should also know the Norwegian Govt. sent over $100 million to Hamas. You say no Norwegian knew this--more nonsense. My wife knew it, she is Norwegian; so did all our friends in Norway. I lived in Norway 1957-60 when Einar Gerhardsen was PM, at that time Arbeiderparti did a great job, they had no oil or gas then, but the country was well run and in excellent fiscal shape. The same party today seems hell-bent on cultural suicide. It"s no secret how muslims breed--like rats, to quote Orianna Fallaci. When I lived in Oslo there were no muslims; now every 5th person there is muslim. Don"t you see this as a problem? I certainly do, and so do probably 98% of Norwegians who loathe, hate and detest the muslim rabble in their country. A friend who works in Ulleval Sykehus wails that "there are almost no white Norwegian faces among the new born there". Surely you must see where this is leading? And I hardly need to mention the epidemic of rape of Norwegian women by muslims--which is hushed up by the Govt. In my years in Norway I DID see a surprising amount of support for the Germans during the war, but curiously ONLY after I learnt to speak Norwegian. In English they spoke guardedly. Anders Breivik did a terrible thing at Utoya, but in my view Stoltenberg and his naiive, masochistic leftist Govt. is doing an even WORSE thing--selling out their country to backward, barbaric, inbred rabble.

(169) Anonymous, September 1, 2011 5:39 PM

Anon Joke Part2

Its a typical technique of modern anti-semites. Cry crocodile tears over jews that are dead (e.g. holocaust) and work to kill Jews that are living (e.g. by preventing them defending themselves). We get that right! Understand, the Pals are 90% illegal migrants from north africa and arabia in the 1940s (see UNWRA constitution). Israel is Jewish native land. It always has been, and always will be. The support of recent illegal immigrants to harass and kill jews (read any PA school book), tells us clearly the predeliction of the Norwiegans.

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