Vebjørn Selbekk on being pro-Israel today

lifted from VårtLand.no (google translate)

Vebjørn Selbekk has pointed out the strengths and weaknesses facing pro-Israel groups in Norway. I am particularly satisfied with the paragraphs where he confronts the sometimes unhelpful religious arguments in support of Israel. They might work well for a congregation singing from the same hymn sheet, but for the ones who have no particular belief, or even reject the idea of the Divine, such arguments are merely risible and detracts substantially from Israel’s right to exist as a modern state on its historic land. Well done Vebjørn, lets hope you will have struck a cord with many of Vårt Lands readers, though possibly not among the usual suspects who post on the debate forum, what a sad sad lot of miserable gits they are!

The way forward for Israel ‘s friends

Published Yesterday at . 09:00 – 1405 Views Post
The contemporary situation in the Middle East debated undoubtedly best with historical and political arguments. Only when one has the ability to be understood and taken seriously .

In connection with the review of my new book ” The Cross and the Star of David . Norway , Israel and the Jews 1814 until today ” our country has asked me to post an excerpt from the book here at Value Debate . It follows here :

This book has shown how isralevennskap has gone from being a sort of Norwegian common position to be a highly controversial position . How goes as the way forward for Norwegian friends of Israel ? Which strategy should be chosen to again go on the offensive ? Finally, I would venture to offer some advice to Israel’s friends in Norway .

Firstly it is important to deal with the misery descriptions. Yes , Israel involvement has been less in Norway . But the conditions are not as full black as it sometimes can sound like . The size of the Norwegian pro – Israeli associations do – as discussed earlier in the book – Norway to an international superpower when it comes to Israel friendship.

And these organizations shows no signs of stagnation in membership or gift income. Quite the opposite . It seems rather that the organized pro-Israel work in Norway is growing. An organization with Israel For Peace , for example, more than quadrupled its membership of the last six years, from 1600 to about 6700 . ( 1 )

Neither political condition is so discouraging that it sometimes gets expressed . In today’s situation , there are two parties that are friendly selvuttalt Israel in Norwegian politics , the Christian Democratic Party and the Progress Party. The response varies, but together they have about 20-25 percent of the Norwegian population in the back. It is not exactly catastrophic.

These parties represent separately the two main lines of support for Israel in Norwegian politics : The Christian / religious pondering and the secular .

Christian Democratic Party has stood for the former line through the party’s history. The Christian Democratic Party has the low-church support for Israel in the Norwegian Christian people got their political expression.

The secular support has been far more turbulent . The Israeli friendship and the enthusiasm that existed in the Labour Party in the first etterkrigstiårene , has hardly its equal in any Norwegian environment. But today there is little or nothing left of this commitment in ancient israel friendly party. Instead, Progress acquired something of this role as a secular Israelis from friendly party . In this respect, one might say that it is a kind of line from Haakon Lie to Siv Jensen.

And here we are at the main challenge for the pro -Israel movement . Israel friendship today has far skrinnere conditions outside the church and chapel walls than just a few years ago. If israel friendship again to be a popular movement in Norway , they need particular a strengthening of the non- religious support.

In the current situation, associate the average Norwegian greatly commitment to Israel with a particular religious view . It is perceived simply as the need to have a strong Christian faith to be friend of the Jewish state.

How has it become so ? The labor movement was the original at least as strong israel friendly power as Christians.

The reasons are of course complex . But maybe Christian friends of Israel must also bear some of the responsibility the state of affairs . Theological debate about Biblical prophecy can be interesting. But in the public debate on the Middle East conflict , such arguments are largely counterproductive . When theological argument from the Middle East chapel and church premises posited in the public domain, ‘s a culture clash that hardly serve Israel’s case. In the current situation , this is quite strange arguments for the majority of the Norwegian people . You realize just not what it is. And you do not accept the argument on the basis .

Thus this is an impossible debate in which the parties operate with entirely different basis . The result is only a further alienation and marginalization of both friends of Israel and the case you are trying to promote.

The contemporary situation in the Middle East debated undoubtedly best with historical and political arguments. Only when one has the ability to be understood and taken seriously .

Now it is not only traditional israel friendly environments that may be guilty of adding strong religious overtones in the Middle East debate . It is of course also need to be wary when a man Jostein Gaarder uses Christianity as a base to teach Jews about humanity and civilized behavior. Christian religion arrogance towards the Jews has created dramatic results over two thousand church history. And when it comes to the Christian treatment of Jews in Europe , so it has not exactly been characterized by humanity . To put it gently .

The fact is that one does not need to grasp the theological arguments to defend the state of Israel . In the current situation it is important to emphasize that it is still possible to have a non-religious basis for their support . As we have seen , there is a very rich tradition of it here in Norway .

For earlier Ap – tops were Israelis friendship synonymous with solidarity. You wanted to stand with the people who had suffered more than any other in human history. But the idea of ​​solidarity has not expired . It is just as relevant today as at Haakon Lie time . Although it’s been almost 70 years, the Holocaust remains history’s worst crime. In our days persecuted Jews all over the world just because they are Jews . Only in Israel , they have a completely safe haven .

In addition to the solidarity aspect , there are a number of other secular arguments to be Israelis friend. Support for Israel is also a support for democracy and the kind of social system that we have developed here in the western world. Israel of course has its shortcomings. No democratic states are flawless and Israel too must accept criticism.

Abuse happens , especially when one is under pressure. And it has Israel done in all the years it has existed . Maybe it’s the famous writer Hermann Willis who have expressed this best of all : ” Israel is a democracy that is doing the best they can , just like us .” ( 2 )

For it remains a fact that Israel is the only democracy in a region dominated by some of the world’s worst despotic states. Israel is the only law . And the only country with freedom of speech and a free press . They are the Western world’s outpost among Muslim dictatorships .
( 1 ) Halden Arbeiderblad 16 May 2013

( 2 ) Willis, Hermann : The cat and the elephant – Israel’s triumph and tragedy , Schibsted Forlag 2008

1 comment for “Vebjørn Selbekk on being pro-Israel today

  1. FG
    November 6, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Link?!

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