One of the more striking aspects to the whole scenario surrounding the Jerusalem Post’s publishing of the article by Maya Spitzer, was the reaction by the Norwegian media, the comments coming from Norway to the Tundra Tabloids’ own comment box, as well as the response by the Jerusalem Post to news it helped to generate.
The Norwegian newspapers, Dagbladet and Aftenposten, had linked to a Tundra Tabloids’ post -which had published the original Spitzer article in full- due to the Jerusalem Post’s removal of the same article which had initially set the ball rolling through the Israeli, Norwegian and Finnish blogosphere.
First of all, what needs to be recognized concerning the Jerusalem Post’s initial article, is that, in spite of the fact that Maya Spitzer could have, and should have, written a much better article, (Norway’s Minister of Finance, Kristin Halvorsen, did not shout Death to the Jews, but much of the article was sound, as some of the respondents to the article have testified here at the TT.
In spite of that, and to the Jerusalem Post’s credit, they took down the article as soon as they received word that something was amiss, and then republished it with a mention of the correction, that Halvorsen was not shouting “death to Jews”. But they didn’t stop there, as the J’lem Post removed the entire article and published an entirely new article by someone else, that embodied much of the same facts from the first article by Spitzer, and explained both sides of the brouhaha, while giving ample space for opposing views.
Secondly, could the same be said of any Norwegian paper acting in the very same way, when it was discovered that the facts to certain articles about Israel were as faulty, or worse? A Norwegian colleague of the Tundra Tabloids agrees, stating:
“Most Western media still haven’t apologized for unfairly demonizing Israelis through uncritically broadcasting the obviously fraudulent Pallywood story about the “brutal murder” of the boy Muhammad al-Durrah.”
There are also other examples as well, like the mythical Jenin “massacre” that the international media spread like wildfire, which blamed Israel for killing over 500 Palestinians in the refugee camp in 2003, though only 50 some people were killed, most of them terrorists, as well as over 20 Israeli soldiers among the dead as well. The Norwegian media has never issued an apology for its horrid reporting on it, neither has Finnish press.
Thirdly, angry Norwegians, after reading the Dagbladet and visiting the Tundra Tabloids, had not only the nerve to rake the J’lem Post over the coals, as if the JP is the worst paper on earth, but many dismissed the notion that their anti-Israel views had anything to do with anti-semitism, just Israeli policies.
1.) “I must just say that when mr Gerstenfeld says “Norwegian society must be forced to confront their racism towards Jews which is masked under the guise of criticism towards Israeli policies”, it’s BS. Right-wing israeli propaganda at it’s best. So no one can criticize our Israel anymore, but you can criticize everyone else??”2.) “What a big load of crap! There is absolutely no public antisemitism in Norway non-what-so-ever, it is an outright lie! Fucking right wing fanatics!!!”3.) “Yes, there is some anti-Semitism in Norway. There is some Nazism in Norway and there is much idiocy in Norway. Show me a country without extremes. But Norwegians or Israelis most have no problem with each other, and are able to disagree on important topics without that turning into hate. There is no public voice in Norway trying to have it otherwise, so please Dr.Manfred Gerstenfeld and Maya Spitzer, do not be such a voice in Israel.”4.) “So no, their antagonism towards Israel isn’t proportionate, and it isn’t always rational. But neither is the fact that Israel tries to elevate itself above criticism by shouting “anti-semite” each time a critical remark is made. Israel’s list of violations of basic human rights for the Palestinian population it occupies is long and dismal. They run a brutal occupation regime causing the suffering of millions of people. And as a matter of fact, not many other states are occupiers is this day and age.”5.) “…you have to believe very blindly in the cleverness of your own policy when you portray any critique of it as racism. The current situation does not warrant any such blind faith.”
These few comments, and there’s more of them, show exactly what Dr.Gerstenfeld has shown to be the problem in Scandinavia. In spite of their traditional concerns over human rights and being against all forms of racism, Scandinavians prove themselves incapable of spotting it amongst themselves. Perhaps they believe that their socialist credentials provide an automatic immunity shot against the disease of racism that affects us all?
Any criticism that appears to tarnish that image, must have deeper designs, there just couldn’t be any truth to the claims. The person who points it out, in this case Dr.Manfred Gerstenfeld, must have a personal axe to grind and an agenda to keep. But if that criticism is coming from Norway, than it’s justified, because the Norwegians are the righteous and noble vanguards of all that is good. Israel however, since its deemed to have been from its conception, living in a state of original sin, is therefore deemed to be bad, and full of the bad qualities that the good humanitarian Scandinavians reject.
That’s one of the reasons why none of the comments registered at the Tundra Tabloids -concerning the J’lem Post article- which condemned Israel as an occupier and the killer of children, mentioned the Palestinians as being, at least partly to blame, for the ongoing tragedy. Only Israel had that honour.
The other reason why, is that for the most part, like minded Norwegians have become a nation of humanitarian racists who treat the Arabs in much the same, patronizing way as Southerners treated black African Americans in a segregated South.
Humanitarian Racism: “Attributing an intrinsically reduced responsibility for certain ethnic and national groups for the actions.”
Norwegian humanitarian racists refuse to hold others, “not like themselves” to the very same high standards. That’s why Hamas supporters can throw Fattah supporters from very tall buildings in a single bound, and there’s no call of outrage in the Norwegian media, no call for a deepening in the boycott against Hamas until it respects human rights and the rule of law. As a matter of fact, I’d wager that many, if not most of those Norwegians “outraged” by the J’lem Post article, and by the claims of Gerstenfeld himself, are in favor of the ending the boycott sanctions against Hamas.
For humanitarian racists, no amount of violence and outrage committed by people “unlike themselves” are enough to condemn them. Here we have two kinds of racisms working side by side, ancient anti-semitic motifs now pitted against the modern state of Israel, and humanitarian racism towards “third world people”.
According to the logic exhibited by “humanitarian Scandinavia”, the only way for Israel to gain any sympathy and compassion from the Nordic region, was if they were to behave like the Palestinians themselves, and treat the Arabs in the very same way the Arabs treat themselves and their neighbors. Is that the lesson “humanitarian Scandinavia” wants to teach the world? KGS
NOTE: Like the TT has always maintained, some people do in fact get it. Here is the comment from an anonymous commenter from Norway:
I disagree with our Minister of Finance in her views on Israel’s action, and her wish to boycott Israel. I would never for a second believe that she would cry “Death to the Jews”, though. That is so cruel and crude, that it is unthinkable. She is a compassionate woman, whose heart goes out to Palestinian children.
That there are others, basically Arabs, that did shout that, is another matter.
I will not pretend that everything is as it should be, though. I think most Jews in Norway live fairly quitely, to avoid drawing attention to themselves, but I do not think they are afraid of Norwegians. Any fear they might feel would probably be of Arabs. Norwegians do not have any issues with Norwegian Jews, and are also in general very peaceful. A former President of our Parliament, Jo Benkow (Benkowitz) was openly Jewish, and well loved and respected. Just a years ago there was a ceremony at my children’s school, in memory of three Jewish children that were deported to Germany during the second world war. I was concerned that nobody would show up, so I dragged my husband and my children with me, only to be left standing because it was absolutely packed with people, so we had to make sure the oldest participants would get the chairs. Jews have a lot of sympathy in Norway.
What would have bothered me, had I been Jewish, is the massive condemnation of Israel and Israeli politics. I understand that most Norwegians who have been fed with anti-Israeli propaganda for 30 years, and who by instinct take the weaker side, should be upset by the war in Gaza.
I would still think that this would be very painful for Norwegian Jews.
I am going to Eilat day after tomorrow, and the fact that I have not told more than a few very close friends speaks volumes. One of my friends even asked me if this was politically correct. Since I have been in Spain under Franco, in the Soviet Union under Bresjnev and in Cuba under Fidel Castro I think I have proved that I do not chose by politically correctness. It is however a political act on my part. This is me saying: I hear there are people who disagree with Israeli politics, and I do not allways support everything the government does myself, but I happen to like not only Jews in general, but also Israelis. I am looking forward to going!