I have been browsing back a few years on this blog and notice that so far this summer, I have really had my work cut out to try to find anything relevant to report with regards to Norway and her often strained relationship with Israel and the Jews. Last year, this time of year, I could easily post one or two pieces daily to document the unhealthy obsession with Israel in Norwegian media – so the question in: Has the negative impression of Israel in Norway all of a sudden been turned around to become all sun and love?
But current geopolitical events force the hands of even the most anti-Israel Norwegian politician or journalist, plus, Norwegian double standards, anti-Semitic inspiration, etc has been thoroughly documented internationally and has certainly contributed to a marked toning down of anti-Israel propaganda (in most quarters anyway). Meanwhile, the rest of the Middle East has gone spectacularly tits up, and many a Norwegian pundit is now very busy trying to explain to the increasingly irritated masses, how come they got it so wrong in the first place (famously likening the MB to the Christian Democrat party), and only reluctantly admit that possibly they might have viewed the MB through a hopelessly romantic prism a la Les Miserables.
So with Turkey blowing up again, Syria still in the descending loop into more chaos and more bloodshed, Egypt in the throes of a coup and the somewhat unsteady throne of King Abdullah in Jordan, there is no real excuse to use the Israel angle in headlines or other.
Even to the extent that when certain islamists in the region try their very best to ignite pure Jew hatred, it goes unreported in Norwegian media. Unless Norwegian readers also check more trustworthy news sources than our domestic ones (A survey released today reveals that 4 in 10 Norwegians believe media is corrupt) they would not know that the Egyptian Islamists immediately proceeded to claim that the interim president is secretly Jewish. Nor have the Norwegian media found any reason to inform in a proper way that Egypt has closed the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza (the NRK has only very briefly mentioned this development), and in a similar manner, the news of the shocking murder of a youth celebrating the ousting of Morsi, was carefully tucked away in an article in Dagbladet, and hence no specific condemnation of such a vile crime, other than – obviously – a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs urging to respect human rights.
Humanitarian organizations who push for very bold headlines whenever Israel defends herself, seem to have closed their offices for the summer, with no public campaigns to call for solidarity or even humanitarian aid, and unlike in 2009, when the red Cross demanded an investigation of Norwegian Jews who had participated in the Cast Lead operation, so far, the Norwegian Red Cross has not issued public statements of a similar kind regarding Norwegian Islamists who participate in Syria or elsewhere.
So. Perhaps Israel is off the screen for now. But the double standards applied to Israel still persist.