Hej Torbjørn Digernes…..

NTNU Rector Digernes;

I should have invited credible speakers
on both sides of the debate

The Tundra Tabloids cares not about adding voices to the panel, but for the removal of the panel altogether and starting from scratch. This has nothing to do with “stifling debate”, and everything to do with ensuring that a panel of reasonable and rational voices speak on the conflict between the Arabs and the Israelis under the auspices of the Norwegian university.
NTNU Director, Torbjørn Digernes, failed to do just that, choosing rather to envite a list of speakers who have called for an academic boycott on Israel, blamed it for ethnic cleansing and wildy inflated the numbers of Arabs killed during the Gaza war, in order to present Israel as a state that doesn’t abide by international law.
NTNU obviously wasn’t prepared for the backlash that would ensue for arranging a panel of speakers that are entirely hostile to one side, to participate in a lecture series named “”Israel-Palestine conflict: What is research-based knowledge?” It’s obvious that in Norway, the dialogue surrounding the Arab-Israeli conflict has become so one sided, that such a collection of hostile speakers of Israel, doesn’t raise an eyebrow.

Welcome to Norway, the land of fake humanitarians and anti-Semites. That’s not to say such sentiment wouldn’t be denied by the majority of Norwegians, who truly believe they’ve all gotten past that evil desease called anti-Semitism. For such a liberal state with a strong Leftist tradition, their being “progressive” is believed to act as an automatic inocculation to the racist bug. They’ll reject the accusation with a wave of the hand, and continue on as before.

Adolf Hitler once saidAugust 1920, “How, as a socialist, can you not be an anti-Semite? …“. Such a statement rings more true nowadays than most would care to believe. Speaking as a socialist in the Marxist tradition, Hitler knew what he was talking about, and deep down, Leftists of all stripes continue to be anti-Semitic to this day, regardless of whether it’s an intentional or unintentional decision. And what makes it even worse than in times past, is that it’s couched in the language of criticism of Israel’s foreign policy and given wide acceptibility. That suites the Norwegians just fine.

H/T Esther: Islam in Europe

In a move which Foreign Ministry sources defined as “unusual,” Israel’s embassy in Norway has officially protested the launch of a high profile academic seminar there delivered exclusively by lecturers known for their highly critical views of Israel.
Israel’s Foreign Minister last week described Norway’s attitude toward Israel as “hostile.” “We were saddened to learn that a biased and one-sided seminar on Israel is taking place at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim,” Deputy Chief of Mission of the Israeli Embassy in Oslo, Aviad Ivri, wrote last month to the institution’s dean.
The seminar, whose first session took place last month, includes lectures by Ilan Pappe, who accuses Israel of perpetrating an “ethnic cleansing of Palestine” and by Stephen Walt, the coauthor of a controversial study on the effect of the Israel-lobby on U.S. policy. It has been described by prominent scholars as anti-Semitic.

Other speakers invited by NTNU Dean Torbjorn Digernes include Moshe Zuckermann, who in a January interview for Deutschlandradio – a widely-heard German program – said that operation Cast Lead cost hundreds of thousands of Gazan lives.

The members of the seminar’s organizing committee – Morten Levin, Ann Rudinow Saetnan and Rune Skarstein – have all signed a call for an academic boycott of Israel. They also brought a few Norwegian speakers, famous for their critical view of Israel.

“There’s no one on the panel with a neutral view of Israel, let alone anyone to advocate its position,” a source from the Foreign Ministry said. “Usually we do not get involved with academic forums of this sort because it’s a freedom-of-expression issue, but this all-star team of Israel-haters crosses a line,” the diplomat added.

“The overwhelming majority [of Israeli academics] oppose Pappe and Zuckerman and are rarely if ever found in seminars in Norway,” Ivri wrote.

Read it all here.


Lecture series at NTNU creates uproar in Israel.

(Dagbladet): Lecture series, “Israel-Palestine conflict: What is research-based knowledge?” Creates a strong reaction by the Israeli embassy in Norway and in the Israeli media. On the list of lecture-holders are including several that have marked out for various types of boycotts of Israel. Others are critical to the daily current Israeli policy.
– I can not help wondering if the “entrance ticket” to such a seminar is name-calling of Israel, writes Counselor at the Israeli Embassy in Norway, Aviad Ivri, in a letter reproduced on the Embassy’s website.
– Stjernelag
A source in the Israeli Foreign Ministry told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that it is rare foreign service, engage in academic debate in this way, but that the list of lecturers provoked.
– The star made of Israel-hate crossing the line, “he told the newspaper, and express concern that no one with a” neutral “view of Israel is on the list of speakers.
Reviews bounced off of the lead at NTNU, which is aware that the seminars are controversial.
The plan is designed by professionals with research-based insights, “says Rector Torbjørn Digernes at NTNU to newspaper Dagbladet.
«Build broad perspective»  At the seminar’s website says the following:
“The purpose of this lecture series is to allow for a broad academic debate about the conflict in the Middle East. The lecture series seeks to build a broad perspective on the conflict.”
One of the presentations ask about an ethnic cleansing of Palestine is a premise for the creation of Israel.
– Is it problematic that all speakers have marked themselves as critics of Israeli policy or support an academic boycott of the country?
– I expect that research-based and scientific knowledge is the criterion for the lectures. And if it is not so graduates also are allowed to engage politically, so we have a very difficult situation, “said Digernes.
– Do you support an academic boycott of Israel?
– No, I believe that dialogue is important in a conflict where the parties stand against each other in such a way, “says Digernes.
Several cases
In the Israeli media adds the matter into a series of stories about Norway. Last week described Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman Norwegian observers town of Hebron as “hostile” towards Israel.
Those invited to hold seminars:
  • Senior Helle Cecilie Tveit, Norwegian Center for Human Rights
  • Professor Stephen Walt, Harvard University
  • Director Nils Butenschøn, Norwegian Center for Human Rights
  • Professor Moshe Zucker Mann, Tel Aviv University
  • Professor Hilde Henriksen Waage, University of Oslo
  • Professor Ilan Papp at the University of Exeter

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