A defined battleground: Church, academia and unions

it is very often a good idea to know who your opponents are, it gives you the tools required to face them and defeat them.

The battleground in Norway against anti-Israelism, anti-Zionism (which is a synonym for anti-Semitism) is now clearly defined: It is mainly the Church of Norway and its affiliated organizations such as YMCA/YWCA, Norwegian Church Aid, to mention but a few, academia, fairly much limited to disciplines where fantasy is a better tool than actual facts (the “humaniora” – which for the time being is basically preparing graduates for a jobless future, since there is a limit to how many art masters and sociologists we need in society), and the Labor affiliated unions. Now all of these belong to tightly knit networks where they mainly sing from the same hymn sheet and give an impression of being many, diverse and generally representative of society at large.

Well, they are plainly not, since the majority of Norwegians have either signed out of the Church of Norway, are not members of any union and hold generally a scornful view of academia, whom they charge are completely separated from ordinary people’s lives.

But it certainly helps to know where efforts must be concentrated and confront the many and vile lies they so habitually fabricate or replicate without critical thought.

lifted from nrk.no poor google translate

(as an after thought, MIFF, With Israel for peace have more than 6000 paying members and over 13000 likes of FB, whereas the Palcom try to remain interesting for the scarce 3000 who care to pay their membership fee, while the number of likes they attract on FB does not reach 4000, despite all the support they get from media)

Academic boycott is sensible tactic
As students at the University of Oslo , we do not accept establishing cooperation with the University of Tel Aviv.


Jonas Iversen, Student at University and deputy chairman of the Palestine Committee of Norway

Robert Wood, Student at University and chairman of the Palestine Committee Blindern

In Aftenposten 4 April defend religion professor Torkel Brekke their desire to institutionalize the relationship between the University of Oslo and the University of Tel Aviv, from criticism from colleagues both at the University and at other institutions . Voices for academic boycott of Israeli research and educational institutions , according to Brekke “lost our sense .” He argues along two lines.

The first argument is that boycotting Israel without also boycott other states that violate human rights is inconsistent. It is therefore hypocritical focus on Israel. The second argument is that academic boycott of Israeli universities puts the principle of academic freedom in danger. As students at the University of Oslo , we take the issue of academic boycotts seriously. The more one puts into question, the clearer it is that the academic boycott is a reasonable tactic , and that it is precisely the tactics in question . Professor Brekke seems to have misunderstood this when he claims that those who support the boycott are inconsistent.

Good reasons to boycott

Israel’s continuing violation of international law , for example by building on occupied Palestinian land , torture of detainees and detention of children, adds the moral basis for a boycott . On the basis of these considerations , it is entirely appropriate that other countries should be criticized . But it is obvious that, when considering a boycott as a political leverage , one must consider both the moral basis , but also the likelihood of success. It is precisely this aspect which in our judgment puts Israel in a unique position . Western boycott of Israeli institutions will have a major positive impact .

We believe that academic institutional boycott could stimulate more political dialogue.

We are talking about a state that already has close cooperation with the United States and Europe , and is dependent on such a good relationship is maintained. There are also a number of other reasons that there is hope for success by just boycotting Israel. Several of these reasons are discussed in the promotional booklet for academic and cultural boycott.

If it were now to be other states that also hit a sufficient number of criteria that a boycott can be a wise tactic , so do not get what boycott of Israel unless properly . What about the argument that academic boycotts are a danger to academic freedom? Well , firstly , there are several important values ​​in society , and it is totalitarian thinking that one social value trumps all other values. Therefore, the value of academic freedom against other important values.

Will send clear signal
Looking at the Palestinians ‘ freedom in general, and their academic freedom in particular , it is clear that it is the Palestinians’ rights that are truly threatened. Israel collects taxes in the West Bank , but gives no support to the eleven Palestinian universities. They are therefore dependent on international aid . Israel’s control of movement in Palestine enables them to prevent students and academics to undertake study and research. Academic freedom for Israelis must therefore be balanced against other values ​​you consider important , including as economic, legal and political rights for all. Both Israelis and Palestinians .

There is reason to believe that an academic boycott of Israeli universities could help change destructive Israeli occupation policies. Breaking institutional collaboration will send a clear signal to Israel that we do not accept what is being done. If we work together there must real change to . University Environments conducive with weapons technology research can be said to be active contributors to the oppression of Palestinians . But all Israeli universities fail to take critical stance to the treatment of the Palestinians. All legitimizes thus violation of international law , on a sliding scale from passive to active.

Can not accept  cooperation
Another common argument against the academic boycott is that this is consistent with dialogue. We believe it is important to consider the type of dialogue you are looking for . Nelson Mandela and other dialog advocates have been concerned dialogue about politics .

The technical dialogue absent as a result of academic boycott , but such a boycott does not prevent , in principle, more political dialogue between Israeli and Norwegian academics.

We believe that academic institutional boycott , which indicates that the occupation and oppression is not acceptable, could stimulate more political dialogue , both among scholars and in the public debate . The danger is that academics like Professor Brekke does not get enough into what the boycott campaign is about and ends up being actively against it by relying on misconceptions or ill-considered arguments. If the University of Oslo establish cooperation with the University of Tel Aviv , this helps both to recognize Israeli politics and undermining the international boycott campaign. As students at the University , we do not accept this.

10 comments for “A defined battleground: Church, academia and unions

  1. : )
    April 9, 2014 at 3:53 am

    You can add Venstre to your list McG. They are the wild card in the new governement.

  2. martin
    April 10, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    What a load of rubbish. Norwegian, it is not just the Venstre, it is the whole of your elitist establishment that shows such contempt for truth and a serious lack of understanding of facts on the ground. They only see what they want to see.

    I mentioned earlier, Israel should show some gumption and ensure BDS of Norway is complete with all forms of diplomacy. No Norwegians journalists, church members etc should be allowed in toi the country. They are unwelcome and not wanted. Some os us have had more than our fill of on going Norwegian hate.

  3. : )
    April 10, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    Martin :)

    my spelling is 100% rubbish. I don’t know why but when your teacher tells one every day what an idiot one are for three years for me has it done so that I can’t look back on what I write. If I do I just hear her words. No clue how to change it.


    Have a happy day Martin : )

  4. : )
    April 12, 2014 at 3:01 am


    after my last posting, I bet once again its, arg Norwegian why????????

    Anyway I have made peace with Vårtland. The fight against religion is wasfare more organised that I had belived.


    Have a happy Passover Martin.



  5. martin
    April 12, 2014 at 4:32 am

    Norwegian, I was not criticising your post as rubbish. It was the argument used in the article. It is usual establishment claptrap. and believe me, sometimes, I believe they have the clap, too. This is what might have affected their brains.

    The Church in Norway is only part of the whole established churches in their fight to annihilate Jewry through any and all means at their disposal. I have no time for these Christians who complain about the threat of Islam and how that religion is the cause of much Christian suffering around the world. Even David Cameron has complained that Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world. The trouble he has is quite typical. He does not state the obvious, which is what and who are the cause.

    He conveniently forgets Christian persecution of the Jews for 2000 years and still continues to this day. He conveniently forgets that Judaism is no longer the most persecuted in the world for one reason. The Jews were ethnically cleansed by the Arabs, mainly Islamic controlled. What false hysteria and complaint.

    What is the established council of churches answer to Islamic aggression? Blame and persecute the Jews. As Eric R. would say “blame the jooooos.
    Have a happy Shabbat and enjoy your first night, seder night. Our children are grown up, but we still celebrate our freedom from persecution. Our Passover, Pesakh the first recorded history of humanity’s escape from persecution and slavery, with the hope of reaching the “Promised Land.”

    So yes Norwegian, have a happy and thoughtful Pesakh and enjoy….

  6. : )
    April 12, 2014 at 9:56 am

    My misstake. I feelt really lead behind the light when I figured out what Venstre is up too. All looked so nice and cool in the election. These people can act very unsympatic and get away with it to blame it all on krf, høyre and frp. It time to pick up old habits to make notes during political debattes, yes I have very few hobbies :)

    Happy Pesakh to you Martin and to the rest of the folks on this page.

    Happy Pesakh to McG. Now I turn off the web so be nice folks :)

  7. martin
    April 13, 2014 at 6:13 am

    At this time, I would like to wish all our Jewish friends a happy, healthy, peaceful and thoughtful Pesakh and to ponder the meaning of liberty, escape from slavery and freedom itself.

    Today, instead of one man (with his brother Aaron), Moses appealing to let his people go, we have a reversal. Today, we have a modern version with one man still imprisoned and the majority outside. I mean of course Jonathan Pollard. This man was incarcerated for giving secrets to an ally of the USA, that country being Israel. Secrets which should have been given over as per the agreement between Israel and the USA, but were denied due to a change in presidency. The secrets included Iraq etc. Pollard never received a proper and fair trial and was made a real scape goat by Casper Wienberger, a real hater of Israel.
    Today, it is fully recognised that Pollard would have been released long ago and is still imprisoned because he is Jewish and is a direct result of Jew hate within the Establishment. American justice is as bad as any where else. Weinberger was pardoned of crimes we know bot. Of course at the time, the Bush (snr) and Baker regime was not just anti Israel but also showed a distinct Jew hate attitude, questioning Jewish loyalties. It is a fair criticism of US Jewry to say they showed absolute disgusting cowardice. Where is their leadership today, when the USA has been caught out spying on its friends within NATO and Europe?

    So yes, have a happy Pesakh and perhaps say a prayer for the release of Pollard, a true Jew and patriot.

  8. : )
    April 13, 2014 at 8:05 am


    you rise a very good point. Don’t we all fear to be put in the place Pollard has been when we are out of Israel. Its not ok!


    Happy Pesakh, Obama free Pollard!

  9. martin
    April 14, 2014 at 4:34 am

    Dear Prof

    May you and yours have a lovely, peaceful leavenfree(lol) Pesakh

    Your work on this site is absolutely tremendous and you do have a arge happy following. Except of course for the nudniks, of whom the less mentioned, the better.

    With admiration and fond greetings


  10. April 17, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Dear Martin
    Thank you very much for all of your contributions and support, for a little blog like this, your commitment is dearly valued. The same goes to every reader of this tiny little blog. I appreciate feedback, pings, emails and other ways of letting me know you are following me on this little space!

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