Jørgen Jensehaugen is what passes for an “expert” on Middle Eastern affairs in Norway. Apart from an IB from Rome, his main qualification is that he worked as a research assistant for Hilde Henriksen Waage and has his degrees in history from the most esteemed of institutions in Middle Eastern history, the University of Oslo.
It’s worth noting that in Norway, you don’t need a PhD in your field to be an expert. And you certainly don’t need to know any Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish, Amharic, or really any other language than Norwegian and barely passable English to be an expert.
All you need is the correct political point of view, and you can claim to do legitimate and open-ended research on the question: “How can we find ways to blame Israel for as much as possible?”
For which you get to travel to Israel on the taxpayer’s dime, access governmental archives, and pay for translation of Hebrew originals. All this so that you can substantiate the allegation that Israel isn’t really a democratic country.
So it is with Jensehaugen, who published an article in Dagsavisen today titled “Misused opportunities.” The main gist of the article is that now when Hamas and Fatah are – possibly and for a unknown duration of time – Israel and the US are reckless fools to not grab the opportunity, make “real” compromises, and forge a peace agreement.
To be sure, Jensehaugen concedes that Hamas is a “difficult” counterparty, but Israel and the US, by contrast, “completely reject” negotiations. He also, suprisingly, concedes that Hamas “spoiled” the Oslo peace process.
Jensehaugen applies a double standard that is absolutely staggering, but never mind. (Has he even read any of the things Hamas says about Jews?)
What is hard to follow is his logic: Jensehaugen believes that Israel should sacrifice its security permanently in return for a piece of paper from an unstable Palestinian government that may fall apart the next day.