Alan Dershowitz anti-semitism in Norway


And he would of course be exactly right. KGS

Dersh: “The very camp that was attacked by the lone terrorist was engaged in an orgy of anti-Israel hatred the day before the shooting. Yet I would not ever claim that it was Norway’s anti-Semitism that “caused” the horrible act of terrorism against young Norwegians.”

Is Terrorism Against Israel Really More Justified Than Terrorism Against Norway?

by Alan M. Dershowitz
July 28, 2011 at 4:30 pm

In a recent interview, Norway’s Ambassador to Israel has suggested that Hamas terrorism against Israel is more justified than the recent terrorist attack against Norway. His reasoning is that, “We Norwegians consider the occupation to be the cause of the terror against Israel.” In other words terrorism against Israeli citizens is the fault of Israel. The terrorism against Norway, on the other hand, was based on “an ideology that said that Norway, particularly the Labor Party, is foregoing Norwegian culture.” It is hard to imagine that he would make such a provocative statement without express approval from the Norwegian government.

I can’t remember many other examples of so much nonsense compressed in such short an interview. First of all, terrorism against Israel began well before there was any “occupation”. The first major terrorist attack against Jews who had long lived in Jerusalem and Hebron began in 1929, when the leader of the Palestinian people, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, ordered a religiously-motivated terrorist attack that killed hundreds of religious Jews—many old, some quite young. Terrorism against Jews continued through the 1930s. Once Israel was established as a state, but well before it captured the West Bank, terrorism became the primary means of attacking Israel across the Jordanian, Egyptian and Lebanese borders. If the occupation is the cause of the terror against Israel, what was the cause of all the terror that preceded any occupation?

I was not surprised to hear such ahistorical bigotry from a Norwegian Ambassador. Norway is the most anti-Semitic and anti-Israel country in Europe today. I know, because I experienced both personally during a recent visit and tour of universities. No university would invite me to lecture, unless I promised not to discuss Israel. Norway forbids Jewish ritual slaughter, but not Islamic ritual slaughter. Its political and academic leaders openly make statements that cross the line from anti-Zionism to anti-Semitism, such as when Norway’s Foreign Minister condemned Barak Obama for appointing a Jew as his Chief of Staff. No other European leader would make such a statement and get away with it. In Norway, this bigoted statement was praised, as were similar statements made by a leading academic.

More here.

H/T:Challah Hu Akbar

7 Responses

  1. It is so sad to see Alan Dershowitz’s continuing attacks on Norway, in which he leaves behind his usual high standards of fact presentation seen in his other writings (such as those on Israel and American civil liberties). Apparently motivated by a negative personal experience in the country, Mr. Dershowitz spares nothing in his continuing attempts to smear Norway with unjustified charges of extreme anti-Semitism. In his anti-Norway writings, he resorts to the same polemical techniques that he rightly condemns in the rantings of writers who smear Israel – highly selective “cherry-picking” of points, exaggerations and distortions, and omission of any facts that run counter to his desired conclusions.

    I’m an American-born Jew who moved to the Bergen area of Norway 11 years ago, and I’m one of the more active members of the tiny Jewish community on Norway’s west coast. The picture of an extremely anti-Semitic Norway that Mr. Dershowitz presents, based on a single week of visiting the country, is completely at odds with my own personal experiences of over a decade of living as an immigrant Jew in Norway.
    First of all, Mr. Dershowitz’s central thesis is based entirely on a misunderstanding, in which the Norwegian ambassador was misquoted by the Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv.

    A letter to the Jerusalem Post by Norwegian deputy foreign minister Espen Barth Eide, clarifying the issue, led to a rare apology by the Jerusalem Post to the people of Norway.

    This paragraph by Eide refutes the heart of the Dershowitz contention: “The ambassador was incorrectly quoted by Ma’ariv. He did not compare the motivation behind different terrorist attacks; he simply tried to answer a question about whether the terrorist attacks in Norway would change perceptions of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. He stated that many Norwegians see the conflict in Israel and the Palestinian territory in the context of the occupation and religious extremism, and that this view would probably not change after the events in Oslo and on Utøya.”

    This is very different from what Dershowitz claims; he completely misunderstood the thrust of the ambassador’s remarks, as did the newspaper Ma’ariv. But still, it was totally irresponsible of Dershowitz to write such a scathing attack without first making an attempt to verify if the words and intentions of the Norwegian ambassador were correctly reported. The language of diplomacy is often fraught with possibilities for misinterpretation, especially when communication is both interlinguistic and intercultural.

    By any objective criteria it is absurd to claim that European anti-Semitism is strongest in Norway. Anti-Semitic terror attacks have claimed Jewish victims in other areas of Europe, including Paris and London. Neo-Nazis have an increasing presence in Germany and Austria. There are numerous reports of intense anti-Semitism – both harassment and physical attacks – in Malmö, Sweden.
    None of this has been true in Norway.
    Mr. Dershowitz has himself written about the anti-Semitism in Poland. The Simon Weisenthal Center has called special attention to the anti-Semitism in Greece, and has in fact discouraged Jewish tourists from visiting there.

    During my 11 years here I do not recall a single news report of any Jewish person in Norway being the victim of anti-Semitic violence. The same cannot be said about quite a few other countries of Europe.

    From 1985 to 1993 Norway had a Jewish Storting president (equivalent to Speaker of the House), Jo Benkow, whose family escaped the Holocaust by fleeing to Sweden. No Jew has ever climbed to such political heights in the United States.
    Benkow is openly proud of his Jewishness, and has written a book focusing on his Jewish background.

    For the last 15 years Bergen, Norway, has held a moving annual rally against anti-Semitism, attended by hundreds of people. A torchlight procession winds its way through the streets of the old Jewish neighborhood of Møhlenpris, stopping outside each house or building where Jews lived in 1942 at the time of the Nazi roundup. A child reads the names of the victims at each house. I chant a Hebrew memorial prayer at this event, and others give speeches. It is noteworthy to add that this rally against anti-Semitism is entirely organized by non-Jews.

    And this is Europe’s most anti-Semitic country?

    I have not encountered anti-Semitic statements by any native Norwegian I’ve personally known. My experience is that most Norwegians are curious about Jews and Judaism in a positive way, and want to learn more about both. I have felt completely comfortable living an openly Jewish life; I feel completely safe, and have never felt anti-Jewish animosity among Norwegians.

    Mr. Dershowitz leaves out a key point when relating his experience with Norwegian universities during his week in the country. The rector of the largest university in Norway, the University of Oslo, explained afterwards that the group sponsoring Dershowitz had given the university only one choice of date, and that single choice was not available. This “rejection” had nothing to do with content.

    The bigoted comment about President Obama appointing a Jew did not come from anyone in the current Norwegian government – it came from an elderly former prime minister of the 1980’s, Kåre Willoch, who is retired from politics, and has been out of power for decades. Willoch has made shameful anti-Semitic and anti-Israel statements during his retirement years, but these cannot be construed as statements of the government. The Norwegian media roundly condemned his bigoted comment; there was no support for it that I can recall.
    Mr. Dershowitz claims that Willoch’s statement “was praised”. By whom, I ask? I only recall vigorous condemnation.

    On the day before the shootings, a radical extreme faction within the AUF (the youth wing of the Labor Party) staged a demonstration against the Norwegian foreign minister, who was addressing the group on the island. This radical faction supports a boycott of Israel, but the foreign minister explained firmly that the Norwegian government is unalterably opposed to such an action, and praised Israel’s democratic processes.
    The faction’s demonstration, coupled with purported videos of Gaza flotilla games (which have now been identified as false, having taken place in 2010 with a different group) led to Dershowitz’s hyperbolic phrase “orgy of anti-Israel hatred”.
    Dershowitz makes no mention of the foreign minister’s speech which confirmed Norway’s support for Israel. And his attempt to smear the young people of Norway who now lie dead is ugly indeed.

    Dershowitz reaches across the years to accuse Norway of complicity with the Nazis. This is nothing less than a slap in the face to all the brave Norwegians who risked their lives to help save 2/3 of Norwegian Jewry escape to freedom over the border into neutral Sweden. It is a slap in the face to the many members of the Norwegian Resistance who fought the Nazis bravely for two months before being forced to surrender. It is a slap in the face to the brave fighters of the Norwegian underground who sabotaged Nazi Germany’s efforts to obtain the “heavy water” for the building of atomic weapons. And it is a slap in the face to the postwar Norwegian government, which suspended its revulsion of capital punishment long enough to execute Quisling, the ultimate Nazi collaborator within its midst.

    Mr. Dershowitz seems to be in possession of inside information that some Norwegians have financed terror activities. This is an extremely serious charge, and one that I’m sure would greatly interest the people of Norway, who have no knowledge that such financing has taken place. I would advise him to come forward and publicize his information, with details of persons involved, dates, and the payments made. I could virtually guarantee that any confirmed financing of terror activities, which are completely illegal in Norway, would result in the termination of political careers and very likely criminal prosecutions as well.

    Mr. Dershowitz has brought out his own link of recent activities to the Holocaust, and I bring out mine: The incredible bravery of the Norwegian fishermen and boatmen who risked their lives to save dozens of young people on the island of Utøya while the shooting was in progress remind me of the bravery of Norwegians who helped two-thirds of Norway’s Jews flee to safety in Sweden.
    This is the true Norwegian spirit.

    Some of the same teenagers who Mr. Dershowitz claims were full of hatred were desperately fleeing for their lives in the water. When rescue boats came along with limited space, while the shooting was still in progress, some kids asked that their friends be taken to safety first, saying that their friends were in worse shape than they were. Some kids jumped on top of their friends on the ground, to make sure their friends would be saved from the bullets. One 18-year-old boy picked up his friend who had been shot four times, and ran with her, holding her in his arms.
    This is the true Norwegian spirit.

    How Norwegians have responded to the tragedy is also exemplary: Hundreds of thousands have assembled with roses of peace, and pictures of hearts. There have been no cries of revenge – that is not the Norwegian way. Instead, Norwegians have responded to hatred and terror with peace and love (including reaching out to comfort the parents of the terrorist). That is the Norwegian way.

    Mr. Dershowitz concludes his invective by urging Norway to engage in “soul searching”. Norway is in fact “soul searching” now, trying to understand the elements of hatred that led the terrorist to commit his monstrous deeds.
    The Jerusalem Post also did some soul searching of its own, and wound up apologizing to the people of Norway for its earlier rush-to-judgement words.
    Mr. Dershowitz should consider the same for his slander of a country and people of such gentleness and peace, and of such courage and spirit.

    1. Hi Paul, you’ll have to excuse me for I do not believe for a moment that the Ma’ariv journalist misquoted your ambassador to Israel, and the attempted ass covering by Espen Barth Eide, only further highlights the problem of anti-israel sentiment -that at times morphs into pure anti-semitism- by the Norwegian cultural elite. I have been following the Norwegian domestic dialogue concerning Israel for some time now, which more times than not, borders and spills over into anti-semitic behaviour.

      The reason I believe the ambassador was quoted correctly, is due to knowing behind the scenes accounts of Norwegian, Swedish diplomatic exchanges with Israeli diplomats, the same sentiments are shared with them on a regular basis. It’s all about finger pointing, accusing, and never, ever offering solution to dilemmas. Believe me, I have many such stories on file that I’ve heard personally from Israeli diplomats concerning these two countries. It’s absolutely pathetic.

      Knuckle dragging anti-Semitism is the lesser of the Jew hatred to worry about, the kind most dangerous is what’s exhibited by the bigoted intellectual who, when wanting to call a Jew a “kike”, quotes Shakespear instead. If you haven’t heard of any Jews being accosted in Norway during your 11 year stay, you must be living in a vacuum.

      Even NRK has reported stories of Jews being driven out of areas, calling it quits with parts of Oslo due to anti-Semitic aggressive behavior, an Israeli choir singing even had a mixture of Far Left Thugs and National Socialists waving anti-Israel signs and F’ck Jews being hurled. There are plenty of examples of Muslim anti-Semitism being heard and seen in the streets of Norway. Perhaps that’s why you couched your words, having not witnessed “ethnic Norwegian anti-semitism”. The Left is turning a blind eye to this minority’s Jew hatred.

      As for Jews climbing to great political heights, need I remind you that the 1/3rd of the US government, the judicial branch, called the Supreme Court, has had Jews sitting on its bench. I deem that an appropriate comparison to a Jew being the speaker of the house.

      It never fails to hear or see the Left’s badge of Judeophilia being expressed, in how much they shed a tear for the dead Jews of the Holocaust, while not lifting a finger to help the lone Jewish state in the world, Israel. Cry me a river of tears for dead Jews, I’ll take a man or woman who stands up for the alive Jews of today, the ones who have been under siege for over 60 years by Mohammedan genocidal maniacs.

      The Norwegian state willingly sends aid money to the PA, knowing full well it uses it to pay the salaries of convicted terrorists sitting in Israeli prisons. It funds the book of two lunatic doctors, Fosse and Gilberts, with the sole intention of disseminating maddening anti-Israel sentiments everywhere. The Left in Norway have been brainwashed in great measure.

      Try wearing a kippa and fly an Israeli flag in downtown Oslo Paul, try that, and see if your friendly Norwegian brothers blow you a kiss or hurl investives at you, I won’t even mention the Muslims, its a given that they’ll remind you of the Jewish tribes slain by the prophet in the Saudi desert.

      Dershowitz did not receive any approval by a single academic institution in Norway for a debate/discussion on Israel. He was a persona non grata by the entire academic establishment. If he were Azizz Tamimi, he would have had them eating out of his hand. I doubt any of this will persuade you, but the readers of this blog who have read hundreds of posts on Norway, know the truth.

      As for Kåre Willoch, felt he had a friendly environment to speak the way he did, that tells me more than all of the ‘condemnations’ he received. Kind of like the French ambassador’s off the cuff remark, about that “shitty little country Israel”, which was uttered in the same way as Finland’s Amnesty International chairman, Frank Johansson, who called Israel a “scum state”, who tried to deny it though the journalist who interviewed him told me he never denied it during the telephone interview, (he mentioned it over nine times).

      You said: “ On the day before the shootings, a radical extreme faction within the AUF (the youth wing of the Labor Party) staged a demonstration against the Norwegian foreign minister, who was addressing the group on the island. This radical faction supports a boycott of Israel, but the foreign minister explained firmly that the Norwegian government is unalterably opposed to such an action, and praised Israel’s democratic processes.”

      But Store said on that same day to the anti-Israel crowd there: During the second day of Labour Youth League summer camp at Utøya got the Labour Party’s young hopefuls visit by Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store. Together with the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation correspondent Sidsel Wold and Norwegian People’s Aid Kirsten Belck-Olsen, discussed the Foreign Minister of the deadlock between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. As foreign minister arrived Utøya he was met with a demand from the AUF that Norway must recognize a Palestinian state.- The Palestinians must have their own state, the occupation must end, the wall must be demolished and it must happen now, said the Foreign Minister to cheers from the audience.

      I reported just a few weeks ago that one of the youth camp participants, upon hearing the shots being fired, wondered if it were a mock-up drill of Israeli soldiers firing at anti-Israel activists, this shows in itself the level of anti-israel sentiment at the indoctrination camp.

      It’s a fact that Norwegians helped the Nazis in large numbers, that doesn’t detract from the large number that didn’t, but lets face facts, national socialists cum Social Democrats, have some serious ideological baggage to carry. It’s the same in Sweden, where Malmö was a hotbed of National Socialist ferver until the demise of the Third Riech.

      Face the facts Paul, your beloved Norway, a place by the way I have visited, have some friends that still live there, is a country fouled by Leftism in the extreme, and my, Barry Rubin’s, Caroline Glick’s and Manfred Gerstenfeld’s highly sourced reports on that state, have to be taken very seriously. Get over the ideological trap you’ve set for yourself, and look with your own two eyes.

  2. Though I agree with most of what you present here as relates to Islam, the EU, etc. you are way off on this one. And you can be certain, I do not merely “have friends” or a knowledge of the Nordic countries because I’ve “visited”. Paul Goldstein is FULLY correct in all of his comments above. Fact is, the people in the Nordic countries are the most open, tolerant, and hate-rejecting people in the world. Screeching with eternal accusations of “anti-Semitism” and “hate” against the most open, tolerant, and hate-rejecting people in the world is very much what is fueling the Nordics in become more hardened in the way they are turning their backs on Israel. And that, in turn, is resulting in a feeling that they are more justified in leaving the doors open for unhindered immigration from Muslim countries, thus turning the Nordic countries (and Europe) into Israel’s worse enemy. Best would be to begin to understand Nordic culture and they way Nordics ACTUALLY think; that would be of most benefit to both Israel and the fight against the Islamicisation of Europe. Continue, however, on the same path of insisting that these people who are the full opposite of “anti-Semitic” and “hateful” and you (Israel, the Nordic countries, and Europe) will end up with what you now falsely claim to exist – a Muslim Nordic Region/Europe dominated by Muslims that is fiercely anti-Israel and truly anti-Semitic.

    I would borrow your last paragraph above and use it this way:

    Face the facts NGS, your beloved website, a place by the way I [otherwise very much like and] have visited, [and] have some friends that still [visit] there, is a place fouled by [your own ideological self-righteousness] in the extreme, and my, [Paul Goldstein, and many other’]s highly sourced reports on that state [of Norway], have to be taken very seriously. Get over the ideological trap you’ve set for yourself, and look with your own two eyes.

    1. Any nation that has leaders, public figures as well as ordinary citizens that are openly championed for their support of homicidal regimes that desire to murder Jews, cannot be described as being “the most open, tolerant, and hate-rejecting people in the world.” While there are individuals who are as you state, tolerant, the facts remain that the people consistently opt for politicians who are anything but tolerant, and even keeled. Jews are leaving Norway and Sweden, the only state which hasn’t yet experienced a “fright and flight” of its Jews, is Finland, where the politics do not resemble that of Norway and Sweden, as well as having a low number of Muslims. To turn it on me, that it’s in fact MY BLOG to blame for Norwegian attitudes, and even the hardening of them, is laughable.

      Norway is in denial.

  3. I`m not Jewish but after decades in Norway I have concluded that Norway is corrupt and evil. Don`t be fooled by the deceptive hype about “standard of living”. Beneath that exterior it`s a xenophobic country full of intolerant misfits with a strong distrust towards anything foreign. I grew up there, but moved out years ago. I was miserable there, but now I am happy. When I grew up I heard that everything is Norwegian of origin, Walt Disney, Kellogg`s, Television, the automobile, you name it. Kids there are brought up brainwashed to believe Norway is superior to every other country, they are brought up to think they are supreme based on their Norwegian heritage. The law of Jante, check it out online. It compliments Norway beautifully. Goldstein will get his wake up call soon enough…

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