Summer lull and everybody is away on summer hols. Not even the news that Israel and the PA have agreed to sit down and negotiate face to face could stir the summer silence. At least not to any significant degree. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs have issued a press release where the FM Eide welcomes the news and adds – since this deal was made without any Norwegian meddling at all – that Norway stands “prepared to contribute to the process”. Despite the debonaire appearance of the statement, it must surely suck that Norway has no place at the table, a fate shared with the EU. This is the price of taking one-sided approaches to the conflict, so wannabe peace makers will now have to follow the process from the sidelines. Which, all things considered, probably is the best contribution to lasting peace from any of the European nations. While the usual pundits have focused on much more important topics, such as the upcoming elections and the improbable likelihood that the red-greens would be given a new term to show what they are good for (no pun intended), Aftenposten could only get the usual troll , historian Hilde Henriksen Waage, out of her dusting cupboard to comment. In her usual suave style, this was her contribution to the prospect of peace (even if many people agree that the mistrust is very big on both sides and a deal right now difficult to imagine):
– Both pretend
But both the Palestinian and Israeli leaders wish to negotiate. Both parties blame each other when this does not succeed. .
– The Israelis and the Palestinians have an equally big interest in pretending. The Israelis want all the land and cannot state this publicly. They are dependent of the umbilical cord to the US and cant afford to have it cut off. And the Palestinians depend on a political horizon in order to receive international funding, Hilde Henriksen Waage says.
She calls the process a sham.
– it is only lies and nonsense from one end to the other.
Good to know we do not depend on her skillful and tactful approach for our survival.
On the topic of survival; another reason why the news of a resumption in talks did not fetch any fat headlines is that we, as a nation, are still trying to come to terms with the horrible loss we suffered 2 years ago. The loss of 77 young, dedicated, and service minded lives is still a very heavy burden to bear and we still have not figured out how to move on. That being said, you will have to look hard and long for a more unmusical approach to the collective pain than the one suggested by the Labor Youth Leader Eskil Pedersen, the leader who ran away form responsibility and left his young campers alone to take the bullets. He appears to not have understood that he might have the temporary support of the Labor youth leadership, but he does not enjoy any widespread respect anywhere else in the country. All of his attempts to be nominated to a socalled safe seat for the Parliamentary elections later this fall have failed miserably, but still he is at it, trying to score a political point on the atrocities. He has called for an international day of commemoration and to focus more on the political context of the terror. In doing so, he has of course been swimming around in his own belly button for way too long and completely lost sight of the needs and desires of the bereft parents, siblings. They wasted no time in putting this political jester in his place – this is not a political project, this is our naked pain and loss! Somehow I dont think Mr. Pedersen has a very bright future as a politician any longer.
Also, silly season means that topics that normally would not have gotten any mention at all, now feature prominently. The NRK is fascinated by how Muslims who observe the Ramadan in Arab countries watch soaps to make the time go faster (as if there could be anything else to do when you are hungry and it is too hot to go out). But it is disappointing that they have not taken the opportunity to explore why the Holy Ramadan is spent imbibing toxic anti-Semitic filth. Why? Are they afraid of upsetting Muslim sensitivities? In the same manner that they initially treated the unfortunate fate of rape victim Marte Deborah Dalelv, who was handed a verdict of extramarital sex, illegal alcohol consumption and perjury and given 16 months in the slammer? It took them more than 24 hours to get on the right side of the rest of the Norwegian population who were infuriated by this verdict. Incidentally, FM Eide, who at first claimed that upsetting Muslim sensitivities in a case where a Norwegian citizen had been treated in a most inhumane way, could easily backfire and “make it worse”. But that was until the Norwegians got up from their sun beds in fury and pelted the Dubai authorities with angry emails, calls to boycott, and naming and shaming the Qatar based company who fired Ms. Dalelv. The result? The Emir of Dubai granted a pardon to Ms. Dalelv, her passport was returned along with a permit to leave the country at her convenience. She arrived back in Norway today, and now even the CEO of the company that fired her has gone on record stating that it was wrong to fire her and that she can have her job back any time she would like.
It would appear that the NRK is not sufficiently sensitive to the damage anti-Semitism does to the prospect of peace, in other words, they are still busy ignoring the intolerable, since possibly they hold the racist view that one cannot expect anything better from Arabs?
In any case it seems they are not ready to learn the bigger lesson, that you simply dont get on the wrong side of public sentiment too often. It will cost you credibility and no amount of damage control can mitigate that sort of loss.