Interestingly, as Syria continues to churn out victims, as Lebanon more and more spirals into a new civil war, Norwegian media continues to focus on Israel, as if that were the main problem.
Of course, Norwegian mainstream media covers the Syria and Lebanon tragedies, and Egypt too, they are not oblivious to the scenarios being played out there, but doggedly, and irrelevantly, Israel continues to be the main fixture in certain people’s brain….
We still do not have an honest politician in Norway, who will call out Islamist extremism as a fundamental cause of suffering, in Israel, in Lebanon, in Syria, and indeed also in Egypt. Now, all the rage is about the U21 Football EU championship, which I will update on as time will allow.
For now (and much delayed due to very hectic days for me, but I have now made aliyah!!!), below you can find some of the Israel items Norwegian press has focused on in the last week
STUDENTS HELD IN CAPTIVITY FOR THREE DAYS-COMPLAINS TO ISRAEL’S EMBASSY
Sander Heggheim/Sidsel Wold
The Grimstad Bible School has complained to the Embassy of Israel after four students were detained for three days; allegedly over having the intent of travelling to Bethlehem. New Israeli routines prohibit visitors from going to the occupied West Bank; where the city of Jesus’ birth is located.
“Most were verbally abusing us and we had to be on the inside, not receiving answers to as why we were there. Actually, we were just sitting there, waiting, says 19 years old Bible School student Hanne Skarstein to NRK.
“One day, we did not receive food for nine hours, so we were quite hungry”, she says.
In March, she and three other students at the same age were going to the Holy land. Two of them were going to Jerusalem in order to aid Holocaust survivors, distributing clothes and food to the needy.
Since two of the students were heading for Bethlehem, all were denied visa, being detained in cells.
“There was fecal matter on the walls; we received sparse food, and were allowed fresh air for one hour daily”, Skarstein says.
Not acceptable treatment.
The Grimstad Bible School has sent a complaint to the Israeli Embassy, demanding an explanation.
“We are complaining over this treatment, which I find not acceptable; being detained for three days without any explanation”, says Karin Riska, a leader at the school, which is uncertain over whether the school will send any more students after this.
In an e-mail the Embassy informs NRK on an investigation of what has taken place.
As soon as the picture is clear, the Bible school will be invited to the Embassy to receive an explanation.
SOCIALIST TOP DEMANDS NEW SANCTIONS AGIANST ISRAEL
Verdens Gang 2013 05 27
Socialist member of the Storting, Snorre Valen, who has been travelling in the Middle East demands Norway must introduce new sanctions to put pressure on Israel, in order to end occupation and restart negotiations..
HILDE HENRIKSEN WAAGE- HAS ISRAEL WON AND THE PALESTINIANS LOST THE STRUGGLE OVER THE COUNTRY?
Palestinakomiteen i Norge 2013 05 24
No stated author
The PalCom and the international committee of the LO to arrange discussion on Israeli policies in “Palestine”.
65 YEARS OF SUFFERING AND INJUSTICE
Aftenposten 2013 05 26 p 4, 4
Abdel Qader Yassine
Palestinian author, resident in Sweden, launches attack on the state of Israel and Zionism.
Editorials 2013 06 03
DAGBLADET AND ANTI-SEMITISM
The political caricature is a satiric depiction; in which hyperbole or distortion are typical instruments. This gives force to the caricature; however it opens to many types of interpretation of the message. At times, there is a total breach between the intent of the caricature and the reactions towards it. We saw it as Jyllandsposten- later on also Dagbladet and other Norwegian newspapers- printed satiric images of the prophet Mohammed. We now see it in the criticism of a cartoon printed in last week.
Jewish faith communities, human rights NGOs and individuals all over the world strongly criticize Dagbladet over printing what is believed to be an anti-Semite cartoon by guest artist Frederik Drefvelin. There is given little room for nuances or evaluation.
Those having made up their minds over this cartoon being anti-Semitic do not believe the artist as he state he has made a travesty of religious practices not directed at any special group or religion. Furthermore, it is being claimed the caricature is evidence over Dagbladet’s’ anti-Semite attitudes. We have another point of departure concerning this cartoon, and another understanding of it. The message is criticism of religiously founded circumcision; practiced by numerous faiths, being controversial in Norway. The point at the basis of this cartoon is that if attitudes or actions may be placed under the umbrella of faith, criticism or discussion may be refuted. We believe this is a theme belonging to the public debate.
After the Holocaust, it has become imposable to refute or deny Jewish reactions when it comes to anti-Semitism. The industrial genocide on Europe’s Jews was the extreme point of political evil. The inspiration of the genocide was racist propaganda in all media outlets. All this has left a sensibility over the presence of anti-Semitism that is strong and understandable.
In the meantime, it is of importance to understand who is a friend or an enemy in this question over values. Dagbladet has a long and coherent history of struggling against anti-Semitism. This is a consequence of our view on human values, as well as free speech and freedom of religion Maximal freedom must reign on this. Likewise, however religious sentiment, dogma or rites cannot be exempt from criticism, the place of religious criticism in public debate is a guarantee over the freedom of religion and the security of believers.
THE SOURCES OF ANTI-SEMITISM
Minerva 2013 06 04
Sven Olav Eid
Conservative think-tank “Minerva” publishes long and well researched article on anti-Semitism past and present; the concept of “Jewish self-hatred” is highlighted, as is left wing anti-Semitism.
YES TO KOSHER-SLAUGHTER
Dagen 2013 06 04 editorial
No stated author
Christian daily defends Schechita; states today’s legislation is discriminatory towards the Jews exclusively, as similar methods are permitted to other minorities, in particular the Sami, when it comes to slaughtering. The article points to this legislation having its origins in unabashed anti-Semitism; as is shown in references to the 1929 debate over this in the Storting.
WAR BY PROXY
Dagbladet 2013 06 03
Jan Erik Smilden
An interesting article on foreign interference in the Syrian civil war; the author sees the now ongoing conflict as more of a regional (and international) battleground of religious and regional interests than an internal Syrian affair. Israel, formerly keeping a low profile in this conflict seems to be interested in any outcome that neutralizes Hezbollah and Iran from having influence, Qatar and Saudi Arabia appears to be strongly involved as supporters in this conflict, giving fiscal and material aid to separate factions.
Now, can you imagine the level of noise and condemnation if this were a Norwegian citizen in Israel?
FOREIGNERS SENTENCED IN NGO CASE IN EGYPT
Aftenposten 2013 05 04, NTB
According to this article, it is likely Norwegian Conservative politician Christian Angell is among foreigners convicted in absentia over supporting “foreign funded NGOs” in Egypt. So far, this news piece has not attracted much attention in Norway, but more so in other countries: http://au.news.yahoo.com/latest/a/-/latest/17479163/court-jails-egyptian-foreign-employees-of-ngos-afp/