Israels ambassador tears into Norwegian media

lifted from, moderately doctored google translate

Norwegian press has not learned
Too often the border between journalism and activism in crossed by the Norwegian press. Every rotten tomato at a market in Gaza is a closeup symbolising the Israeli malice.

Raphael Schutz
Israel’s ambassador to Norway
Raphael Schutz

Published 21.07.2015,

One year ago, after the fighting finally subsided, came parts of the Norwegian press, mainly NRK, with an important concession: Their coverage of the conflict in summer 2014 between Israel and Hamas had been unbalanced.

The Broadcasting Council criticized NRK partly deficient background info and context, that coverage is insufficiently “shed a critical light on Hamas ‘role’, and that was not good enough” at distinguishing propaganda from documented information ». The Broadcasting Council admonished  the NRK to “become better at distinguishing between reporting and comment»

Unfortunately it seems today, one year later, as if the conclusion and the advice from last year has been forgotten and that little has been learned. A significant number of articles, executives and feature articles have recently been published to mark the one year since the operation «Protective Edge” began. It almost all had in common was the same professional failure who also was present at last year’s coverage, namely a one-sided and uncritical approach.

No mention of Israeli suffering
The stories referred almost exclusively to Palestinian suffering, without even mentioning the suffering of tens of thousands of Israelis traumatized by daily rocket attacks. It was the complete absence of context, no cause and effect – as if Israel used fire for no reason, and not in legitimate defense.

A problem with coverage is omission of essential information. In a reportasjesak from Dagbladet about the current situation in Gaza, one in “facts box” read that “Last summer was bombed Gaza in 50 days of Israeli aircraft.” The fact that Israel was attacked by several thousand missiles and grenade attacks from Gaza is not mentioned.
I also react to what I perceive as deceptive representations. An example is an editorial published in Aftenposten that gives Israel the blame for lack of reconstruction of Gaza by not letting goods entering. This is wrong. More correctly were UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who recently stated that the current situation in Gaza is both Hamas and Fatah directly responsible for.

Missing professionalism
“Serry mechanism” (named after former UN envoy and the Dutch diplomat Robert Serry) should make it possible to carry out reconstruction in Gaza. The agreement will ensure that products can be used for multiple purposes – such as cement – are actually used to build houses and schools, not to angrepstuneller into Israel.

Serry, UNRWA and the UN Secretary General has recently admitted that Israel cooperate well, but the main challenge is the lack of interest for the reconstruction of the Palestinian Authority, in addition to the bad relationship between the PA and Hamas. Another hurdle is that the money that was promised by donor countries, mainly from the Arab countries, have not reached their destinations.

However, Israel is the only country that actually makes an effort to rebuild Gaza by allowing about 800 trucks loaded with construction materials including, cross the border into Gaza each day. This equates to more than 1.6 million tonnes of goods during the past year.

Uncritical coverage
Another objection is the editor in charge when it comes to feature articles, comments and other remarks. Too often have extreme and untrue remarks from readers, activists and “impartial” experts uncritical coverage in Norwegian newspapers. In an article in Dagbladet it was claimed that Israel “murdered” Palestinians in Gaza during the war last summer. In a war are not people murdered, they are killed.

Another regrettable example of lack of professionalism is the chronicle in Aftenposten on 9 July there Awais Aslam claims that Palestinian “sisters and mothers were raped” by Israeli soldiers.

The author does not interest me, since extreme opinions unfortunately is part of human nature. My complaint is directed against the editors, in this case in Aftenposten, which provides space for such blood libels and lies.

In other words: Too often Norwegian media crossed the border between journalism and activism. Where are the editors committed to protecting basic journalistic criteria?

Coverage is disproportionate
The coverage of the situation in Gaza is disproportionate and obsessive, especially when one considers the real dimensions of the problem: Every rotten tomato in a basket on a market in Gaza is a closeup symbolizing the local disorder and the Israeli malice.

Do not misunderstand me – each human suffering should be taken seriously, and the people of Gaza have suffered considerably after the war last summer. But at the same time: Around the entire Arab-Muslim world and in the wider world, it happens horrific atrocities and mass killings every day. These are considerably less media attention.

Over the past nine years UNHRC in Geneva has condemned Israel 62 times. In comparison, they have given 55 condemnations to the rest of the world combined. One year after “Protective Edge” it seems that large parts of the Norwegian press suffers from the same obsessive and disproportionate syndrome.


Apart from a hysterical oped from one of the Ship to Gaza comrades, who claimed that Israel is committing war crimes and attacking Gazan’s on a daily basis, out of sheer malice, there was no serious (well, the above mentioned oped was serious only as far as it serves to illustrate the Ambassadors point) debate or even reaction to the claims made by Mr. Shutz.

Perhaps the mentioned editors and commentators were too busy hanging their head in shame?

4 comments for “Israels ambassador tears into Norwegian media

  1. Herbie
    August 7, 2015 at 10:14 am

    Why doesn’t the Norwegian press cae about Jews being burned alive?

  2. August 8, 2015 at 2:54 am

    Apparently because its of no interest and therefore of no consequence.

  3. Herbie
    August 9, 2015 at 8:41 am

    Sadly, I think you are correct

  4. motti
    August 11, 2015 at 2:30 am

    Prof is right, as the victims are Jews, that is of no consequence to the Jew-haters in Norwegian society.

Comments are closed.