Israel and Jews in Norwegian press this week

Two issues stand out in particular in this summary review of Norwegian press and Israel/Jews

First, it is disturbing to see how FM Brenne continues on the same track as his predecessors, Støre and Eide. All they achieved for all their enthusiastic Israel bashing was for Norway to be shunned and intensely disliked. It is plainly wrong to say that Israel is “persistently subverting” the establishment of the Palestinian state. First of all, there is no illegal occupation going on as there was no established state of Palestine when Israel wrenched back control over the West Bank from the illegal Jordanian occupation. The lands conquered in a defines war, were in any case in their  majority part of the Israel which the Sykes Picot agreement intended. This is the same agreement that gave rise to such long time nations such as Jordan, Iraq, Syria so in fairness also the borders of these countries should be open for discussion to settle the troubles currently consuming this region. The UN decision to separate Israel and Palestine was signed by Israel only, whereas the Palestinians yet have to put pen to that paper. The correct approach to this problem is not to blame Israel, but to keep the Palestinians responsible for the repeated mistakes that have kept their dream of nationhood far far beyond reach. Until such time, I’m afraid they are going to continue to kill each others in droves, and pointing a finger at Israel when things well and truly blows up, as this summers sad experience has shown.


The second troubling issue is with regards to the story about the man in Bergen of Jewish descent. He writes in a letter to the editor of Bergens Tidende that he no lingers feel comfortable to wear his Magen David and points to muslim immigrants’ intolerance of Jews and Judaism as the underlying cause for this. This has made the leader of the Jewish Community in Oslo, Erwin Kohn, react. Kohn says; He (Genius, the man in Bergen) has experienced hate crime because of his religious background and progeny. But then he does exactly the same, against Muslims.

I like Kohn take great distance to the Muslim bashing that seems have taken over the minds and tongues of people I really thought had been better educated. People who wrongfully have thought that this tiny blog is anti-Muslim because it is pro-Israel and pro-Jewish have soon found out that their garbage is unwelcome here. But I must take issue with Mr. Kohn on this one ( and politely remind him of his own reaction to blogger Suzanne Aabel who published an oped that we Jews too are prejudiced against Muslims). The survey on anti-Semitic attitudes in Norway was lacking in several ways, most importantly because it failed to gauge the anti-Semitic attitudes of Muslims in Norway. However, it has been well documented elsewhere that Muslims in Norway, in particular those who originate from the Middle East or North Africa, fail to distinguish between the State of Israel and Jews. We only need go back to 2009 to get a very scary reminder that they indeed hate us Jews and are prepared to chase us down the streets of Oslo and call for the murder of Jews under the banner of Haibar haibar al Yahud. It doesn’t get very much more anti-Semitic than that. Prominent Muslim politicians, such as Abid Raja has also criticised his own Pakistani-Norwegian community for being less than tolerant of Jews and Judaism. Therefore I disagree with Mr. Kohn that it is wrong to point out these problematic aspects of multiculturalism. I learned a very valuable lesson from my London Jewish community, located near Edgware road, i.e. slap bang in the middle of London’s little Arabia. Problematic attitudes were confronted within the communities, in public, in the Mosque and in the Synagogue. Very difficult issues were debated in extremely clear language. But with respect. Plain old respect. Not by shying away from a difficult topic or criticising the person who suffers from harassment.



Aftenposten 2014 09 18 AP

Summary. Sensationalist story on Israeli uses of agents inside Gaza.


Kristoffer Egeberg Links to video.

Summary. IDF intercepts, kills two suspected Hamas militants in the West Bank, suspected over the killings of three Israeli teenagers this summer. The article mentions the arrests of six Israelis, suspected over a revenge murder perpetrated upon a Palestinian after this event, triggering the Gaza conflict.


Dagbladet 2014 09 23 Silje Rønning Kampesæter

Summary. Israel downed Syrian Su-24 aircraft over Quneitra lines, pilot escapes by parachute.

Palestinian issues


Dagsavisen 2014 09 18 p 24

Åsne Gullikstad Pay wall

Summary. This is an interview with Norwegian People’s Aid representative in the Gaza Strip, Jenny Oskarsson. She describes destructions, says Israeli blockade must be lifted in order to facilitate imports of materials for constructions. This gem is embedded in the interview: “No one in the Gaza strip wants to be the recipients of aid; they want to stand alone, living on their own incomes”.


Dagbladet 2014 09 22 NTB Summary. As stated in headline. Quote: “Israel will never experience security through persistently subverting the opportunities to develop the Palestinian state. And the settlement policies undeniably leads to increased resistance and radicalization- not only in the West Bank. Gaza cannot be held in isolation: The project of constructing a Palestinian state will never succeed without a union of Gaza and the West Bank, politically, economic and security wise, Brende said”.


Dagsavisen 2014 09 23 p 16 Roger Hercz Pay wall

Summary. An already bad situation has deteriorated further, torrents of refugees leaving or attempting leave Syria, including Palestinians and Kurds. Mr. Hercz, resident in Israel, states his sources fears to reveal any contacts with him, fearing both government and rebel forces, both seemingly lacking any respect of human rights and decency at present.



Dagbladet 2014 09 18 p 44 Gerd von der Lippe Summary.

Professor at sports sciences demand boycott of Israel in the EURO 2020 games in op-ed using borderline anti-Semite language.



Vårt Land 2014 09 20 p 13 Kjell Kvamme/Erlend Berge

Summary. On WW2 POW graves in Norway; referring to the Soviet POWs incarcerated in Norway, under conditions no better than the Kz camps in Germany, having at times extremely high death rates, the inmates also being subjected to extreme brutality. This article documents neglect and ignorance on this subject, also within “official” Norway. As documented by the Lofoten War memorial museum; many of those Soviet POWs were of Jewish descent.



Bergens Tidende 2014 09 19 David Genius

On May the 10th of 1948, my mother and grandmother disembarked in Kristiansand, having left Germany by ship. To my Grandmother, this was the last part of a leg having started as the Germans invaded Rumania, where she came from. With her brother, she escaped to Ukraine, where they lost each other under circumstances most likely similar to those seen in Iraq and Syria today. My grandmother traveled further, through the Ural Mountains and through Poland; living for some time in a Berlin refugee camp post WW2. From whom did they escape? From those intending to kill them over being Jewish. Jew and Christian. In Norway, my grandmother experienced safety for the first time in her life. From the time she was a little girl, she had been in the habit of having to hide away from angry people intending to beat up Jews- or killing Jews- when they felt the urge for it. Pogroms had been commonplace in Europe since a long time before anyone had heard of National Socialism or Adolf Hitler. Mimmi, as I called her, spent the rest of her life being on the outlook for signs indicating she had to escape, having a small emergency fund for this, in case we –her closest family- had to flee, because of the hunting of Jews having again become commonplace. Around my neck, I wear a Mogen David and a Cross; symbols of where I descend and where I am going. I am born at the Betanien hospital in Bergen in 1968. My friends refer to me as being “Arch-Bergenese” ; even though I reside at Askøy. I was born of a Jewish mother, being Jewish by this definition. However, I am of the Christian faith, I am baptized, confirmed and married in the Church of Norway; not following Jewish tradition. I practice my Christian faith, not bothering anyone; and I take pride in my heritage. I wear a Mogen David and a Cross around my neck; symbols of my origins and my future course. I take pride in this; and have so far never been afraid over telling who I am or of my heritage. Until now.

Hateful glances.

Nowadays, I experience people around me glancing with hate upon my Mogen David. I experience people I regard to be of a sound mind holding the opinion it is fully acceptable for a group of people living in my proximity and also the rest of this world to be regarding me as best dead. I experience media talking of accepting people shouting in demos in this elsewise peaceful country that I shall die! “Death to Jews” has been shouted this year, at Karl Johan , The Bergen “blue stone”, and many sites elsewhere in my homeland, where we were supposed to feel safe. I have served my country in the military; my children are baptized here, I am from here. I am born here, I live here. And I shall accept people taking refuge in Norway being allowed to behave like this? Cartoons depicting Jews as beastly bloodsucking monsters killing innocent children pops up in the media. As an aside; no one has ever received threats over these cartoons; Jews can be depicted, contrary to prophets.

A personal issue.

The politically correct Norway gives room to people adhering to a religion allowing genocide to be committed in its name in the Middle East. I don’t know how many scores of million people have lost their names in the name of Allah throughout the last half century; I believe the adherents of Allah soon will be responsible over more lives than the adherents of Adolf. “Don’t regard this a personal issue” or “It’s not about you” are statements I hear, when talking about this. But I do take this as a personal issue! I regard it as highly personal when someone see my Mogen David, glances at me with hate, and spits to the ground next to me. I regard it a as personal matter when I have to remove my Mogen David in order to move through certain areas or through certain shops. Legal game. I will not accept this! I will not accept representatives of this religion being given access to Norwegian media in order to tell me they wish I was dead! I will not accept these people shedding crocodile tears at a popular meeting in Oslo; for me to believe this threat is not genuine. A quick web search shows these same people talking of reconciliation; “distancing themselves” from the IS, also defending the killing of Jews, wherever and whenever! Jews are legal game, they can be hunted down. According to the Quran; a Muslim is under the duty to kill me. I never thought they day should come when I had to look over my shoulder in the city of Bergen because of being Jewish; never the less, this day has come. Is this really acceptable in Norway in 2014?


Vårt Land 2014 09 23 p 7 Kaja Skatvedt

Summary. Ervin Kohn of the Jewish Community in Oslo, with Shoaib Sultan of the “Anti-Racist Center” reacts strongly to Mr. Genius’ op-ed; states he makes the same mistake in branding Muslims as he claims to being subject to himself.

MFA of Norway Opening Address at the AHLC-meeting in New York Chair of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), New York, 22 September 2014

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, It is a privilege to welcome you all to this AHLC meeting in New York. Let me first thank Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for kindly hosting us here at the UN. I would like to extend a special welcome to Prime Minister Hamdallah and Deputy Minister Hanegbi, and to our two co-sponsors, Secretary Kerry and High Representative Ashton. One year ago, the return of Israelis and Palestinians to final-status negotiations gave the two-state solution a new lease on life. Today – I regret to say – we have come together in a less promising political context. Just in the last few months, we have again witnessed the breakdown of peace talks and the outbreak of war in Gaza – the third in less than six years, leaving death and destruction in its wake. Against the backdrop of this challenging political horizon, I feel compelled to make three main observations. First, Now is the time to reaffirm in word and deed our commitment to the vision of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state living side by side with Israel in peace and security. The burden of proof lies first and foremost on those who have failed to do their part. From the outset, the three-party cooperation between the Palestinian Authority, Israel and the international donor community has rested on an unwritten contract: As long as the Israelis and Palestinians move forward on the political track, the donors will be ready to support them on the economic track. In view of yet another derailed process, the donors need to be convinced that the parties are not in material breach. Only an urgent return to credible negotiations will do. Second, In the meantime, it should be no surprise to anyone that donor contributions are lagging behind the Palestinian Authority’s undiminished needs for external support. The IMF projects that the Palestinian budget deficit will reach USD 1.5 billion in 2014. By the end of the third quarter, the PA has received less than half of that amount in disbursed budget support. It is hard to see any constellation of donors that is willing and able to make up the resulting shortfall. That is, unless policies on the ground undergo fundamental and rapid change. Yet I urge those who have outstanding pledged contributions to honour their commitments. In principle, the PA must gradually learn to live within its means. It is disconcerting for donors to once again see projections of growing budget deficits in the latest three-year Palestinian National Development Plan. Granted, the Hamdallah Government deserves praise for implementing measures to keep public-sector salary growth in check, while seeking ways and means of increasing revenue. Still the Palestinian Authority cannot break out of its structural donor dependence through fiscal discipline and institutional reforms alone. The viability of a future Palestinian state will be determined not only by the strength of its institutions, but also by its ability to sustain economic growth. The potential of the private sector must be tapped in order to fuel the drive towards independence, which in turn requires access to resources and markets in Area C and East Jerusalem, and foreign markets. Sooner rather than later, the Israeli closure regime must be reversed in the light of its strategic failings. Ultimately, security in Israel cannot be achieved by the steady erosion of the future Palestinian state’s viability, and of the very ground on which it is to be built. Israel’s unceasing settlement project is bound to trigger more resistance and radicalisation, and not only in the West Bank. Which brings me to my third and final point. Gaza cannot be pacified or dealt with in isolation from the other constituent part of the prospective Palestinian state. The state-building project will never become a reality without the reintegration of Gaza and the West Bank – politically, economically, and ultimately in terms of security. The latest round of war in and around Gaza made it clear for all to see that the cycle of recurring violence and destruction must be broken. Returning to the status quo ante is simply not an acceptable option. That is why I already in July called for an international conference to address the major challenges in Gaza within its broader Palestinian context. And that is why I ask Israeli and Palestinian leaders to make good use of the window of opportunity which will open from now until the Cairo conference on Palestine and Gaza reconstruction, to be co-hosted by Egypt and Norway together with President Abbas on 12 October. It is an opportunity for both sides to lay the basis for a fundamental change in how the whole Gaza equation is dealt with, and to provide the clarity and predictability needed for large-scale donor mobilisation. It is an opportunity none of us can afford to miss. Thank you. Press Release Date: 22 September 2014 Palestine in a critical phase ‘Palestine is in a critical phase, and the coming months will be decisive for both political and economic developments. The donor countries must contribute funds for the reconstruction of Gaza. However, only easing the restrictions can make the Palestinian state sustainable,’ said Mr Brende. In his opening address at the meeting of the Ad-hoc Liaison Committee in New York, Foreign Minister Brende warned Israel, the Palestinian authorities and the international donor community of the consequences of a prolonged impasse in the peace process and the continued isolation of Gaza. ‘It is high time to reaffirm – both in words and in actions – our commitment to the vision of an independent Palestinian state living side by side with Israel in peace and security,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende. Prime Minister Brende called on the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to use the time leading up to the donor conference in Cairo on 12 October to create tangible results. The donor conference will be co-hosted by Norway and Egypt. ‘The current situation in Palestine and Israel is not viable. Stability in Gaza requires that Israel gives the Palestinians access to areas that are under direct Israeli control in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. If this does not happen, the conflict may erupt again,’ said Mr Brende. The meeting of donor countries in New York was led by Mr Brende, as Norway has the chairmanship of the Ad-hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC). Among the participants were UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, US Secretary of State John Kerry and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton.

2 comments for “Israel and Jews in Norwegian press this week

  1. motti
    October 1, 2014 at 8:14 am

    I find it utterly incomprehensible that a Jew will forsake the faith of his ancestors to become a Christian. To join a religion that has shown 2000 years of hate towards the Jewish people and is directly and indirectly responsible for the deaths of millions over 2000 years towards us, is utterly trite.
    Even today, the church, especially the Norwegians church shows its true identity. so Mr Guest has neither empathy, nor sympathy from me. Why wear a magen David when the Cross has more relevance to a Christian? He is of Jewish descent, but so what?
    I would suggest that if Mr Guest had received am ore thorough Jewish upbringing, he would never have accepted the story of a man god named Jesus. Which is totally against the Jewish faith. Yes, everyone has the right to practice what they want. but please, do not cheapen the Jewish faith by wearing a cross to signify the love to all except the Jew, whom you must hate. How tragic!

  2. Eric R.
    October 4, 2014 at 5:01 pm


    A belated L’Shana Tovah to you. I have been busy sorting out some issues with my 84-year old (albeit healthy) father, now that he is a widower.

    I see that Marty has also been absent. Next time he comes to this blog, please send him my regards.

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