November 22, Norwegian state owned TV, NRK, broadcast a debate with a panel of two pro-Palestinian and two pro-Israeli participants and where also Norways new Foreign Minister, Espen Bath Eide, participated. In the audience was Israel ambassador, Naim Araidi, and infamous Israel basher Kåre Willoch.
Not speaking Norwegian, Naim Araidi could hardly participate in the debate, but he did answer some harmless queries in the introduction of the debate.
The plan was that Araidi should also end the debate, but that did not happen. Because of time shortage (and symptomatic for NRK) the debate was instead concluded by Kåre Willoch! Thus the Israel-hater, not even on the panel, got the last word.
The audience was totally dominated by pro-palestinian sympathizers, the whole audience applauding a speech from Bjørn Moxnes from the political party “Rødt” (Red). In contrast, when, for example, Sarah Abraham pointed out that in Israel it is a tragedy when children in Gaza are hit by Israeli fire, while in Gaza it’s cheers and cakes when Israeli children are killed, she got applause from only one single individual in the audience, an arrangement in true NRK spirit.
At the end, the debate host Eric Wold made no effort to hide his impatience when Sarah Abraham was to hold a closing statement stressing her with his body language and “there is very little time left”, while later not in any way restricting Line Khateeb from “the Palestine Comitttee” who stole more than her fair share for concluding remarks, and then Eric Wold awarded the final words of the debate to non-panel participant (!) Kåre Willoch.
The FM didn’t allow himself to be provoked by repeated challenges “from the left”. He claimed that Norway has over the years made a point to have good relations with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, also during he Mubarak rule, and that the Hamas ties to the brotherhood’s is now reinforced at the expense of their ties to Iran, and that this new scenario therefore provides better conditions for Norway to become more involved in a positive dialogue in the Middle East.
Kåre Willoch once again descended to pointless anti-Israel and anti-Semitic propaganda. In his well known sly manner he argued that “700,000 Arabs were driven out of Israel”. He knows he is speaking to largely uninformed viewers who and his half truth is of course interpreted as if the arabs were chased out by Jews. This characteristic one-sided perspective also neglected how hundreds of thousands of Jews were “driven from” arab lands. His propaganda is one of the most potent nurturing ground that fed Norwegian anti-Semitism.
He also reiterated his previous lies and defamation of Jewish pioneers in Israel, not recognizing their hard work to make the desert into farm land and clearing up the malaria swamps, he instead categorically claimed that “Israel was established through terrorism”. That he was given the opportunity to close the debate, at the expense of the Israel ambassador, is yet another NRK scandal – hereby documented for history.