As The Observer reported last night, Norwegian media and politicians seem obsessed with the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, to the point where it has almost become a domestic political issue in Norway. Prominent members of the ruling Labour Party are strong supporters of Hamas.
In an article published a couple of weeks ago in Israel National News, the Norwegian author Hanne Nabintu Herland discussed the pervasive anti-Israel stance of her country’s government. According to her, the condemnation of Israel often grades into full-blown anti-Semitism:
Norway: The Most Anti-Semitic Country in the West
Interview series: Religious historian Hanne Herland: “The new Western secular values imply a rejection of respect for our culture’s historical link to the Jewish people”.
From Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld
“The current Labor/radical left Norwegian government is promoting an extreme one-sided and negative stance toward Israel. It is responsible for creating a politically-correct hatred of Israel among many people in the country. This has made Norway, in my view, the most anti-Semitic country in the West. In Norwegian history, there has never been such an anti-Israeli attitude.”
Hanne Nabintu Herland is a Norwegian academic and a historian of religion. She has authored several successful books. The latest one, Respect, published in February 2012, received a lot of publicity and tops the country’s best seller list.
Yet, there has been complete public silence regarding the sharp criticism she poses in the book against the current leftist government for its biased view on Israel.
Herland says, “Control on public opinion is so strong in Norway that it is questionable whether it can be considered a free democratic state. The Labor Party has widely used the terror attack by Anders Breivik against it on 22 July 2011 to further discriminate against any opposition and shut down public debate.”
She adds: “The Norwegian government indirectly accepts the Hamas agenda where its main goals include ethnic cleansing, terror, and genocide against the Jews. Labor Party Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre regularly defends Hamas in newspapers abroad. In February 2011, he did this in the International Herald Tribune, for instance.
“Last year Støre was caught lying on a live program on Norwegian TV2. There he denied that he held continuous talks with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal. Yet Støre had to admit this when the reporter told him that Meshaal had mentioned these conversations. What initially may have been an act of naiveté is by now suspect of deliberate malice. In the long term, Støre is tarnishing Norway’s international reputation by acting as a Hamas defender.
“The way Norway funds Hamas with hundreds of millions of Norwegian kroner taxpayer’s money, is pure corruption. When African states buy their way to influence, we call it corruption. But in essence, the Labor Party is practicing the same – billions leave the country in order for Norway to buy friends in foreign states where they otherwise would have little or no influence.
“Despite major anti-Israel propaganda last year, a poll undertaken by Norway’s largest paper Verdens Gang found that 60% of the Norwegian people believes that Israel is right in claiming that coverage of it in Norwegian media is biased. This survey was done after the Israeli embassy in Oslo had filed a complaint against the state broadcasting authority NRK for its biased reporting.
“This anti-Israelism is often accompanied by anti-Semitism. Jewish children in Norwegian schools particularly suffer from it. According to a study, many of them are harassed much more than other minorities.
“One may wonder why the Norwegian establishment is continuously badgering the only democracy in the Middle East. Many in Norway and Europe at large no longer recognize the historical link of their traditional culture with the Jewish people. Those who spread the Ten Commandments laid the infrastructure for civilized societies. The Jews have contributed greatly to the development of European culture.”
In spring 2011, Herland published an article titled “Norway is the Most anti-Semitic Country in the West.” In it she wrote: “Culturally, we have much more in common with the Jewish people than one would think. Western civilization’s values have their cradle in Greek and Roman contributions, but when it comes to values, in the Hebrew-Christian contribution. The European humanistic view of the dignity of human beings regardless of rank, class or ethnicity, carries deep roots from Judaism. These values are at the core of what it means to belong to Western Civilization today.”
Herland observes: “The new Western secular values imply a rejection of respect for our culture’s historical link to the Jewish people. Many in the West do not understand that Islam’s radical religious movement projects maximum resistance against what they perceive as Western decadence and domination.
“The new Muslim friends of many Western secularists treat several minorities in Islamic countries with violence. Sharia law is considered a cultural alternative to the Western legal system. What started as the Left’s sympathy for the weak has turned into support for totalitarian coercion. This also includes backing a pronounced anti-Israelism. Today these undemocratic attitudes dominate the politically controlled voices in countries like Norway in a manner that clearly resembles Soviet propaganda.
“In March 2011, the renowned Harvard lawyer Alan Dershowitz came to Oslo. He offered to lecture at three Norwegian universities without payment. They all turned him down. Thereafter, Dershowitz wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal where he conveyed how anti-Semitic Norwegian academics let him know that he was persona non grata. This affair made me ashamed to be Norwegian. I am looking forward to the day when the present government will be defeated. Then hopefully, an end will come to their propaganda and the misleading image of Israel which they continuously portray to the Norwegian public.”