lifted from dagen.no (google translate)
Freedom of speech for friends of Israel
Friday 08, August 2014, at. 0:53 Updated: Friday 08, August 2014, at. 1:07
Editorial in Dagen Thursday, 7 August 2014
Enraged and rock throwing Muslim youth who do not go out of their way to attack even older, naturally creates fear.
Many remember with horror the warlike images from the streets of Oslo after the pro-Israel rally on 8 January 2009. Eyewitness accounts tell how people participating in the rally were attacked, pushed to the ground and injured by large stones that were thrown into the crowd. In the evening counter-demonstrators fired fireworks while “Allahu Akhbar” resounded in the streets. Shocked viewers witnessed the scenes.
Sunday is again set for a support rally for Israel, in the middle of a heated conflict.
KrF politician in Vest-Agder Tove Welle writes in a sigh on Twitter that she is unsure if she dares to attend Sunday’s peaceful rally “in the open, safe Norway.”
In an article in today’s newspaper, we hear that some of those who participated in 2009 are afraid to attend again. We can understand their concerns. As one of them put it, “I thought my time had come.”
To gather for peaceful demonstrations carrying banners and slogans is a strong tradition and an obvious right in Norway. No one should be allowed to threaten this right, of which the attacks in 2009 was just an attempt.
Fear is a powerful tool. Enraged and rock throwing Muslim youth who do not go out of their way to attack even older, naturally creates such feelings. And when fear causes people to consider if they should dare to use their constitutional protected right to express themselves, it is in itself a challenge to our democratic society.
When one declares support for Israel in today’s Norway, many interpreters it as a disregard for the many victims of the conflict between Hamas and Israel. However, it is not the object of the MIFF rally. The purpose of the rally is to present a different view of who is responsible for the bad things that happen.
When innocent civilians are killed in Gaza, it is the Hamas and the fighting in the Gaza Strip that must bear the blame for that is happening.
On Sunday MIFF supporters gather under three slogans:
Support Israel’s right to defend its citizens, no to Hamas and Islamic terror that destroys the lives of Palestinians as well as a call for fair media coverage of the Middle East conflict.
But which one of Sunday’s slogans is of such nature that they test the limits of freedom of expression in any way?
The fact that a country should have the right to defend themselves against constant and repeated attacks should ideally be unnecessary to stress. To demonstrate against Hamas and other parties in the Gaza Strip spending their resources on terrorism rather than welfare must be a fully valid point. And although we in this Gaza war have heard more from the opposition there is no one who believes that a call for a balanced media coverage is particularly controversial.
In 2012, the entire national press attended the organization With Israel for Peace when they once more called for rallies. Ton that occasion it was far more peaceful, and the police seemed to have better control. Our hope is that Sunday’s rally will take place in forms that are worthy of our democratic society.
For also friends of Israel must have the right to express themselves in this country. Without having to fear for life and limb.