- 23 Aug 2011, Jerusalem Post (not published online, but can be seen on Jpost e-paper)
Revising the truth
Sir, – In his recent Jerusalem Post op-ed (“Norway is proPalestinian – and pro-Israeli,” Opinion & Features, August 18), the Norwegian ambassador in Tel Aviv, Svein Sevje, continues to revise the truth by claiming that his government follows a pro-Israel policy. He should have limited himself to thanking Israel for the outpouring of sympathy for Norway after the despicable murders by Anders Breivik.
The expression of Israeli empathy was all the more impressive since after this tragic incident, hate-mongering directed at Israel by mainstream Norwegian society came again to the fore. Even if the Middle East had only one item on its agenda, the AUT camp at Utoya where Breivik murdered many could be characterized as an anti-Israel hate camp.
More information has since become available regarding how “successful” the demonization of Israel was at Utoya. When Breivik started firing, some youngsters thought it was a demonstration of how Israeli soldiers shoot at Palestinian civilians. When I first read this story by German journalist Ulrich Sahm, it seemed unbelievable. I thereupon contacted Sahm, and he provided me with several sources for his story.
AUT is the youth movement of the Labor Party of Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg. As a young man, he attended the camp at Utoya. Many Labor Party ministers came out of AUT. It is now a breeding ground for Israel-haters, some of whom will become prominent in the party.
The Norwegian ambassador might be well advised to keep a low profile at this early stage of his posting; otherwise, a major political collision could become unavoidable. MANFRED GERSTENFELD