Verdens Gang (VG) is Norway’s largest daily and its page two editorials are said to be the most important in the nation. Yesterday, Saturday November 7th, VG’s political editor Hanne Skartveit calls the boycott proposal at NTNU an “academic scandal”. Unauthorized translation:
The academic’s role in society is to pose critical questions to prevailing truths and perceptions. There is little of this in Norway.
Norwegian academics are dominated both by the values of the generation of 68, and by the Socialist Left. Narrow frames restrict the political perceptions which are allowed to enter into Norwegian universities and colleges. Norwegian academics often confirm the Norweian consensus, rather than challenge it. Imagine how exiting it would have been if a seminar on the Middle East was arranged, from an Israeli perspective, where Israeli academics and intellectuals partook. With both critics and defenders of Israel’s action, with regards to both wars, settlements or the treatment of non-Israeli citizens in Israel.
Now that would be a seminar I would like to attend. To listen and learn. But it will hardly be at NTNU.
Hanne Skartveit makes some interesting reflections here.
Now it would have been interesting to see a prominent Norwegian stand up and say, “Hey, let’s not obsess about just one country any more. Let us instead treat all countries the same.” That would have been creative. That would have been bold. The problem at hand is more than NTNU’s boycott proposal, this is only one chapter in a increasingly expansive tome.
Israel Israel Israel.
Believe it or not, Sophie and I would actually prefer to blog about something else, or not to blog at all. With more people like Ms.Skartveit, hopefully we can soon quit.