Summer is definitely over, the Syria crisis unsolvable and the starving children in the Sahel region already moribund, and with that, Israel is once more the whipping boy.
Below is a sample of what Norwegian news browsers is served with regards to Israel. Interestingly, while more than 80 rockets has fallen out of the sky over the densely populated southern Israel, with courtesy of Islamic terrorists in Gaza, NRK prefers to focus on 4 dead Palestinians and refuse to use the terrorist word, but insist that these flagrant war crimes are committed by “militants”.
Verdens Gang, in full
NOT ONLY TOLERANCE AND DIALOGUE
Norway is one of the world’s most tolerant countries; however minorities endure intolerable harassment and discrimination even here. After the 22/7 terrorist attack, an OSCE delegation arrived to observe our treatment of minorities. The OSCE criticize our intolerance towards Muslims and Jews. The organization points to Norwegian police, which should fight and keep surveillance of hate crimes, and the authorities which should support our small Jewish congregation, which use a large share of its funds for security.
These attitudes, which we have observed for a long time, are alarming. The OSCE has not made its own analyses; rather they have written a report based on talks, and findings made by several NGOs in Norway. The knowledge gathered by these has been well summed-up: also proposals for sensible measures to solve these problems have been made.
Never the less, this report has been the subject of a heated debate after Aftenposten wrote on it this weekend. The activist doctor Mads Gilbert is among those making critical statements to the media. He seems to regard this report being worthless as one of its authors is an American Jew employed by a Jewish NGO.
On may wonder whether Gilbert holds the opinion Jews should not be allowed to discuss this theme? Attacking the person rather than discussing those findings of great concern is an argumentum ad hominem. In writing this report an ambassador from Muslim Kazakhstan took part. This does not turn away, Gilbert, though. And in this he is correct. This information does not lose legitimacy because a Jew or a Muslim is behind it.
Such reactions fit into a rather disagreeable pattern in our domestic debate. The OSCE had a genuine point when stating they wished for a more enlightened discourse in Norway on the theme of the Middle East. We need a sober treatment of these themes. Gilbert does not seem to among having a wish to contribute to this.
Dagbladet, in full:
ISRAEL IS LET TOO EASILY OFF THE HOOK
To the surprise of nobody, Israel boarded the Finnish sailing vessel “Estelle”, on its way to Gaza with humanitarian aid. The ship was arrested in international waters; forced to berth in the Israeli harbor city of Ashdod. Everyone aboard were arrested. Some of those (aboard) claims the Israeli soldiers employed electroshock weapons as they conquered the ship. Israeli authorities demands the arrestees sign a declaration of having illegally entered Israel. This time, events were rather peaceful. In 2010, 9 Turks were killed as Israeli soldiers occupied the “Mavi Marmara”. Then as now, the target for the onboard activists was to put a searchlight on the blockade of Gaza.
It is strange that Israel wants the arrestees to sign what everybody know is a lie. However, what is of importance here is the blockade of Gaza, a genuinely collective punishment by the former occupation power. Unfortunately, in this question most Western countries, Israel’s most faithful friends are far too silent in spite of Israel time and time again breaching the international law which western countries defend else wise. Israel seems to be the only country granted exception from international law by the West. Other sinners are immediately reprimanded.
Of course Norway must state its opinion, but it is of little help. When a mighty actor like the EU recently pointed to Israel’s plans over new illegal settlements in East Jerusalem being contrary to international law, EU received an arrogant reply by Israel over first solving the Euro crisis; returning to this question later. Israel has entangled itself in a collective syndrome, seeing itself as persecuted in spite of its innocence, every time someone dares to criticize this country.
In our days, only USA seems able to force Israel onto a new political course related to the Palestinians. However, an election is ongoing and there is a contest over placating the Jewish voters, who mainly are protecting Israel. President Barack Obama had a nice overture in reaching out his hand to the Arab and Muslim world; however the Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank and in the refugee camps in other countries have not felt much of him. If reelected, it remains to be seen whether he has the political courage to contest Israel.
Miff.no 2012 10 22, Kenneth O. Bakken
Pro-Israel website MIFF reports of parliamentarians critical of FM Barth-Eide’s reactions to the „Estelle“ boarding, Hans Olav Syversen (CPP) will raise questions over this in the Storting, Jørund Rytman (Progressive) is also critical.
Main stream media has not however seen any reasons to be critical towards the FM’s statements on this.
Altaposten 2012 10 23, NTB
The Norwegian “Ship to Gaza” directs strong criticism at the Norwegian MFA over what is perceived as a lacking criticism of Israel’s actions in the “Estelle” affair.
The Norwegian MFA states it denies not having protested to Israel.
Aftenposten 2012 10 23
Norwegian activists apprehended by the IDF aboard the «Estelle» to return to Norway today and tomorrow, having been released.
OSCE report on Norway
Romerikes Blad 2012 10 23, ANB-NTB
The Norwegian Minister of Agriculture states OSCE report on discrimination of Muslims and Jews is based on misunderstanding of Norwegian rules for humane slaughter of animals.