of mice and men…

A couple of months ago, we learned about a wooly little Norwegian singer, who decided against accepting an invitation to play in Israel, citing alleged illegal construction on the West bank, and principally, that he really, really disliked the feeling of being used in a political game. Well, that same wooly Moddi has accepted an invitation to provide musical entertainment and talk about his experiences from his visit to Palestine earlier this year (perhaps he will inform the congregants about the depressing state of affairs for Palestinian Christians in the West Bank and Gaza, or the steady deterioration for Palestinian journalists in the same areas?). The PalCom in Norway is preparing an Israel hate fest where Moddi is going to be the guest of honor, accompanied by among others Erik Hillestad (Kirkelig kultur verksted, a Christian recording company) and the YMCA/YWCA (why am I not surprised to see them there). Top of agenda: More BDS. So much for spineless little mice.

Much more impressive is the courageous stance adopted by one of the former leading proponents of BDS in Norway, Henrik Placht. After years of loudly promoting Israel boycott, he now says this is a very bad idea since it leads to no solution at all. Now thats a man for daring to reconsider and to stand up for revised opinions. I am sure it will come at a tremendous cost for Mr. Placht. All the more sincere my admiration for going public.

lifted from aftenposten.no, very bad google translate.


“Those who boycott  dialogue”
Visual artist Henrik Placht has gone from being one of the most ardent advocates of the boycott of Israel to be its adversary.
Ida De Rosa
Two cats paw around on the concrete floor of Henrik Placht airy and cube -like studio at Holmlia in Oslo. Large, colorful and abstract paintings hanging on the walls. The building was designed by the Norwegian – Israeli architect Dan Zohar .

– These will be shown in Jerusalem this fall , says Placht , pointing to the pictures.

From 2003 to 2009 he built up the international art academy IAAPA in Ramallah in the West Bank . He fronted the boycott against Israel and took strong advocate for cutting cooperation with Israeli arts and cultural institutions and stopping guest lectures at Israeli universities.

In an article in Aftenposten fall 2009 Placht wrote that : “By boycotting the state-supported institutions / organizations will be placed more pressure on these communities in Israel to work actively to oppose the occupation. A good friend tells you when you do something wrong, a bad friend pretends nothing and let it continue . ”

Now it’s only three weeks since he came home from Tel Aviv after guest lectured to graduate students at the Israeli Bezalel Academy of Art .

– I went because I no longer believe in the boycott . By cutting the dialogue one does not but help the enemy images are maintained. Then you nowhere , says Placht .

Artists boycotting Israel
Friday Aftenposten wrote that religion professor at the University of Oslo, Torkel Brekke , met with strong reactions from other graduates when he invited three Israeli scientists Norway , with a view to establishing a partnership with the University of Tel Aviv.

Also, many artists , writers and actors believe Israeli universities and art institutions should be boycotted. The website ” Petition for academic and cultural boycott of Israel ” has collected more than a hundred signatures .

Placht think it’s absolutely the wrong way to go if you want to support the Palestinians.

– There are many more Israeli academics and artists who are critical of the occupation than we do here in Norway . It is them we thus boycotting . I also think it is important that all votes will appear. Then you have the opportunity to argue against it, says Placht .

was invited
He went to Israel after being contacted by an Israeli art student by e – mail.

Then he received a formal invitation to visit Israel from the Dean at Bezalel .

– They wanted to hear about the genesis of the Art Academy in Ramallah . Students were curious about the Palestinian art students , what they created , and wanted to meet them and welcomed me as a mentor for a bridge-building project . It got me thinking . I could not help but go.

– Before believed that it was unethical to guest lecture at an Israeli university because it was supporting the Israeli state. What has changed?

– I do not think you should say no because you want to be principled . That Palestinian and Israeli students meet each other is much more important than being rigid. Rhetoric to boycott founders are so fundamental that it destroys dialogue . It has no flexibility and therefore seems counterproductive .

– How can it be possible to show distance to Israeli policy and settlements ?

– One can boycott economically, for example. Many artists and academics have an image of Israel as a brutal occupier . I would travel down to try to look behind that and find the good forces to create a dialogue. And I found them , says Placht

What can I say? KUDOS!

4 comments for “of mice and men…

  1. : )
    April 8, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    So one can eat a orange in academia as a Jew with out be meet with a discussion about blod orange now? Hm, this I have to test!

  2. martin
    April 10, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    So he still thinks it is ok to boycott economically?

    Why does IIsrael bother with this shitty nation called Norway. Pull out all diplomatic relations. New government or not, will make no difference at all, as I have suggested so many times before. It is not government that runs the country, instead it is the elitist establishment. And that does not change.

    Norway is responsible for the disaster called the Oslo Accords.
    Norway is responsible for allowing its Jewish residents to become other than first class citizens, seemingly without rights.
    Norway is responsible for being a leading member of the BDS movement.
    Norway is responsible for aiding and abetting in the murder of Jews in Israel by her enemies.
    Norway is responsible for actively supporting in all manner the various terror groups,
    Norway is responsible for paying a bounty to the families of terrorists who are found guilty of murdering Jews in Israel.
    Norway is responsible for the deaths of the majority of its Jewish citizens during WW2, aiding and abetting the Nazi Germans during the occupation.
    Norway is responsible today for the continuation today of Jew hating calls to legislate circumcision and kashrut illegal. This is to ensure that Jewish people are unable to function as a religious group/, thereby continuing its hatefest.
    Are some people dreaming of another Donau I wonder?

    As you can see, it really is time to stop the nonsense and call a spade a spade and not a bloody shovel

    Time for tea any one? Have a happy, when all diplomacy is cancelled with this Jew hating nation.

  3. : )
    April 11, 2014 at 1:21 am

    Norway has done things for Israel too that was not smart. As the heavy wather what was that used for? I have nothing against Israelis, but why so hard and cold? Why is Jews that are born in Israel more a Jew than a one that is born outside? Why is Israel not one but two? What about the Jews that don’t see Israel as the promissed land? Its two sides her Martin and we have to keep up the dialouge ore we burn brigdes!

    Jewish culture is about asking so it has to be when it comes to Israel too! One have to have a good discussion. Stop the rebellion behavior! Be proud!

  4. martin
    April 12, 2014 at 4:42 am

    Yes Norwegian, Norway was a trusted friend to Israel, unfortunately it burned its bridges with Israel by betraying that nation with the Oslo Accords and ever since to this day.
    Israeli Jews are no more Jewish than those who were born or reside abroad. It is just that as Jews in Israel they have no need to fear their governments actions regarding the Jewish population at large. Unlike many European countries, not only Norway.
    There is only one Israel, so I did not understand your point of one or two, so I cannot answer that question for you.

    It matters not that some Jews do not see Israel as the promised land, or that they have no desire to visit or live there. We can discuss the merits and faults of Israeli society without problem. The problem that I, and others have, are not discussions but pure unadulterated Jew hate disguised as anti-Zionism, as portrayed by so many of the so called liberal socialist persuasion.
    As I have mentioned so many times. It is not just the fact that the Arabs use false propaganda so much in their war on Israel, it is the acmtual eagerness whith which it is accepted by the western world, in particular the church that preaches love to all mankind – except the Jews and Israel.

    I hope this answers your points.

    Have a lovely peaceful Shabbat and enjoy your seder night, Be and have a happy……

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