Israelis mistrust Norwegians

As an apropos to the previous entry, Ouch, Norway put on the spot – which DeBacle very correctly has criticized for its factual mistakes, Vårt Land has picked up on the story that Israelis mistrust Norwegians.

In an article not online, the significance of the poll that found Norways standing among Israelis at a low, has been discussed.

While I agree that the tabloid and very much British taking-the-mickey style of Coren may not sit very comfortably in Norwegian ears, Coren and other comments have not taken their arguments out of thin air.

It is an undebatable truth that the politicians who currently furnish official Norway has taken some very unusual steps to demonstrate its anti-Israel bent. After a long time of trying to brush these events under the carpet, and rather focus on being diplomatically nice about it, Israelis see what they see, and it aint good news for us Norwegians!


Vårt Land 2011 11 16 10, 11

Geir Ole Bjartvik

Not Online


Every other Israeli view Norway as a hostile country, poll shows. While countries like Germany and Italy are regarded as friendly by many Israelis, Norway is rock bottom in a recent Israeli poll. The poll has asked Israelis to estimate the attitudes of five different European countries towards Israel:

  • More than 50 percent responded with Norway being hostile. Half of these respondents regarded Norway as “very hostile”.
  • Less than one fifth of respondents were willing to regard Norway as a friendly minded country.

Has a problem with its repute.

These questions, raised in late summer, were part of an ongoing monthly poll concerning Israeli attitudes towards the conflict with the Palestinians. According to Tamar S. Hermann, a professor of sociology responsible of this poll, the only surprising fact about the poll is the low number- only 6 percent- of respondents responding “don’t know”.

“Norway has a problem with its repute in Israel”, Hermann says, referring to Norway being known of taking the side of the Palestinians in political questions. “In the eyes of the common Israeli there are no neutral grounds. Its either with us or against us”, the professor says.

Provoking headlines.

She adds widely quoted statements made by the ambassador of Norway in Israel only weeks ahead of this poll most likely contributed to deteriorate the results.

According to Israeli media the ambassador stated the difference between 22/7 and Palestinian terrorism was that the actions by the Palestinians were payment as deserved.

“I happen to know the ambassador in person; and knows he would never say something like this, however, in particular the Right Wing was enraged over this, and this event came on top of existing skepticism”, the professor says.

Hire a Public Relations consultant.

She now harbors the opinion the reputation of Norway is at such a low there might be reasons for starting pubic relations repair work in order to correct what the professor regards is an entirely wrong impression.

“Before I myself went on a two weeks research visit to Norway, people asked me whether I was entirely sound in my head, informing me of becoming politically influenced in a way preventing me from doing decent work”, Hermann says, offering this advice:

“Hire a PR consultant, do some lobbying, invite some Israeli journalists”, the professor suggests.

Why is the amount of people looking upon Norway as hostile higher among Arabs than Jews?

“I cannot reply to that. Possibly, they look at Norwegian hostility towards Israel as positive”, professor Tamar Hermann says.