After the horrific Oslo and Utoya killings, we see increased media attention to the multi-faceted anti-Israeli incitement by the Norwegian government and the country’s cultural elite. However, the Norwegian Ambassador to Israel, Svein Sevje, has not yet grasped this. After the murders, he implied that Palestinian terror against Israelis is more justified than terror against Norwegians. Alan Dershowitz reacted: “I can’t remember many other examples of so much nonsense in such short an interview.” A few days later, Sevje told Haaretz: “The history of Norway vis-à-vis Israel is one of great support.”
To expose the fallacy of Sevje’s last statement, one can provide many examples of Norway’s accommodation of anti-Israeli terror, with this is being executed in three ways. The first method entails applying double standards and being soft on terror by criticizing Israel, while mentioning little or nothing about murderous Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians and Hamas’ genocidal program. The second entails statements that indirectly encourage terrorism. The third method is financing organizations that do the same.
Regarding the first method: In 2002, several members of the 1994 Norwegian Nobel Committee who granted the Nobel Peace Prize to Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, and Yasser Arafat – i.e. Bishop Gunnar Stålsett, Sissel Rønbeck, and former Norwegian Prime Minister Odvar Nordli - expressed their disappointment in Peres. A fourth member, Hanna Kvanmo, said she wished there was a way to take the prize back from Peres. She also said Peres was on the verge of being considered guilty of war crimes.
Kvanmo was jailed after World War II, as a Nazi collaborator. Nevertheless, the Socialist Left party had selected her for the Nobel Prize Committee, which is comprised of political appointees. Then-bishop of Oslo Stålsett described the involvement of Nobel Laureate Peres in human rights abuses as absurd. He remained silent about Yasser Arafat, who had continued to order the murder of Israeli civilians even after he had received the Peace Prize. In 2004, the Jerusalem Post published an article noting that the members of the Nobel Committee still stood by their choice of Arafat. By that time, Israel had publicized a list of the terrorist operatives Arafat financed and showed that his signature was on the page listing the amounts paid to the murderers.”
Modern-day blood libel
Last month, a day before the murders in Oslo and Utoya, Norway’s Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere spoke at the anti-Israel incitement camp of the AUF, the youth organization of his Labor party. He called for the dismantling of Israel’s security barrier. Stoere knew well that it was built to prevent further murderous Palestinian terror attacks. He was thus indirectly promoting terrorism against Israelis, one day before some in his audience would become terror victims themselves.
In the past, even while acknowledging the threat of terror against Israel, the Lutheran Church demanded that Israel’s security barrier be dismantled. This State Church can thus also be considered an indirect promoter of Palestinian terrorism. Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) receives major funding from the Norwegian Foreign Ministry. One can debate whether it is only soft on terror, or an indirect terror promoter. Following Hamas’ takeover of Gaza in 2006, the NCA criticized the Norwegian government for "withdrawing economic support" for the "Hamas government."
Norwegian People's Aid (NPA) did the same. It is one of the largest and most highly regarded of Norway's humanitarian and development NGOs and is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Its website promotes the “Stop the Wall Campaign” in Norway.
Mads Gilbert and Erik Fosse, two extreme left-wing doctors, came to Gaza during the Cast Lead War in 2008-2009, claiming that they wanted to provide medical assistance to the Palestinians. After the September 11 attacks, Gilbert stated that he supported the terrorist attacks on the United States. He and Fosse were interviewed extensively by the Norwegian and world press, and made serious accusations against Israel. According to Norway’s largest paper Verdens Gang, their trip to Gaza was paid for by the Norwegian Foreign Ministry.
Gilbert and Fosse failed to mention that the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza where they worked had been used for military purposes by Hamas. Later it became known that Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and other Hamas executives took over an entire ward of that hospital during the war.
Gilbert and Fosse later wrote a best-selling book on their stay in Gaza. They were once again silent about the Hamas military presence in the hospital. Their claim that Israel had gone into Gaza in order to kill women and children is a contemporary mutation of the classic blood libel. This book, with its anti-Semitic message, had back cover comments written by Stoere and former Conservative Prime Minister Kare Willoch.
Finally, there is Deputy Minister of the Environment, Ingrid Fiskaa, who delights in visions of terrorism against Israel. A year before she entered the government, Fiskaa told a newspaper that she sometimes dreams about the United Nations firing rockets into Israel. One should pay attention to similar statements in the future, in order to identify those Norwegians who have learned nothing from the horrific murders of so many of their fellow citizens by “one of their own.”
Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld has published 20 books. Two of these address Norwegian anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism
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