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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Norway attacks Israel again on JPost op-ed page

I am having difficulty deciding what the story is here: Is it that Norway is continuing its self-righteous attacks on Israel in the hope of suppressing any criticism, or is it that the Jerusalem Post, Israel's only English-language (only) daily insists on continuing to publish these attacks on its pages.

In any event, Norwegian ambassador to Israel Svein Sevje, who has already argued that 'Palestinian' terrorism against Israelis is somehow different from other terrorism, and more morally justified, has once again published an attack on Israel in the pages of the JPost.
Norway condemns all acts of terrorism, and considers it essential to promote respect for international humanitarian law. Anyone with an interest in recent political positions taken by Norway can see this for themselves in the press releases and the regular foreign policy addresses by the foreign minister to the Norwegian Parliament, which are published online at www.government.no/mfa. The Norwegian government condemned the killing of four Israelis outside Hebron in August 2010, and the murder of the Fogel family this past March. It continues to demand the release of Gilad Schalit from Hamas captivity. Norway also condemned the bomb attack in Jerusalem on March 23, and has repeatedly condemned the rockets fired from Gaza by Hamas and other groups. The same goes for Hezbollah’s actions along Israel’s northern border.
If that's the case, then why did Sevje say this in his interview with Maariv that is translated in the first link above:
Svein Sevje said in an Israeli newspaper interview Tuesday that while the Norwergian bomb and gun rampages that killed 76 people and Palestinian attacks should both be considered morally unacceptable, he wanted to "outline the similarity and the difference in the two cases."

Palestinians, the ambassador told Maariv, "are doing this because of a defined goal that is related to the Israeli occupation. There are elements of revenge against Israel and hatred of Israel. To this you can add the religious element to their actions."
Sevje also conveniently ignores incidents like this 2009 incident in which a Norwegian diplomat used a discredited photo to compare Israel to Nazis and a 2010 Aftenposten report that claims that Norwegian UNIFIL troops helped two Hezbullah terrorists in Lebanon escape from Israel and the SLA. A Wikileaks cable released in 2010 claims that Norway actually sympathizes with Hamas' positions, and does not just have a tactical desire for talk with the terror organization.
Repeatedly the Norwegian foreign minister has emphasized Israel’s right to defend itself, but he has also called for proportionality in the Israeli military responses and respect for international humanitarian law. He stated that the killing of unarmed demonstrators in the Golan Heights on June 5 could not be justified, and Norway is among those who strongly criticize Israeli building of illegal settlements on occupied territory.
What did Mr. Gahr Store propose that we do with all those Syrian 'demonstrators'? Let them all infiltrate into Israel and claim a 'right of return'? Our border with Syria is not exactly Norway's border with Sweden or Denmark, and those people were far from innocent Swedes or Danes. Besides, the attempt to breach our international border is an act of war and should be responded to as an act of war.

As to the proportionality canard, consider this (original here):
This demand for "proportionality" can only be called surprising. Until this conflict began, history books everywhere always expressed great satisfaction and a certain chauvinistic pride when a nation's army inflicted on the enemy a large number of casualties, vis-à-vis a trifling price paid by "our boys." Israel is the only country expected to behave differently and, in fact, it does; I know of no other nation that announces where and when it will drop its bombs, thus enabling civilians to evacuate the territory. Of course, in this it behaves asymmetrically, because the Hamas terrorists, forever eager to cause the greatest damage possible, never announce when or where they will launch their rockets against Israel's civilian population.

In turn, Israel has not the slightest interest in causing casualties. All it wants is to stop Hamas' attacks the only way it can: by eliminating the terrorists and destroying their arsenals. There's no other way to deal with them. Hamas is not a political organization with which agreements can be reached, but a fanatical gang intent on wiping Israel off the map. To achieve this objective, its members are even willing to turn their own children into human bombs, just to kill the hated Jews.

Here's another very important asymmetry. The Jews build underground shelters in all houses near the border; they close the schools and hide the children at the least sign of danger; they treat the death of a single soldier as a national tragedy; they do everything possible to rescue their prisoners, and protect the civilian population from the consequences of war. In contrast, the authorities in Gaza, drunk with violence, fire their machine guns irresponsibly into the air to express joy or grief (causing numerous injuries), do not hesitate to install their headquarters or hide their guns in schools, mosques or hospitals, use human shields to protect themselves, turn to suicidal terrorists and reward the families of such "martyrs" with money.
Isn't it funny how Norway, which professes to support Israel, has never criticized any other country's military for lack of 'proportionality,' and has never considered or commented on the disproportion described above. Back to Sevje.
Finally, regarding Hamas: In 2007, Norway chose to engage with the Palestinian unity government, which was based on a joint platform negotiated by Fatah, Hamas and independent Palestinian representatives.

In bringing about the unity government, and in our contact with this government after its formation, there were exchanges of views at the political level with Hamas, until its violent takeover of Gaza. Contact with Hamas, however, does not mean that we finance it, or that we condone its use of terror, or that we approve of its charter or its political program. We do not.
As noted above, Norway actually sympathizes with Hamas. And there is no difference between Hamas' 'political' and 'military' 'wings.' They are one and the same. Sevje's implication that there is a difference is detached from reality.
THE NORWEGIAN government believes that terrorism must be fought with all available means – including with military power. At the same time, we must also take a political approach and search for processes that can lead groups away from terrorism and into politics.
So then why did Norway oppose Israel's war of self-defense against terrorism - Operation Cast Lead - in December 2008 and January 2009? Not only did Norway oppose that war, its government actively sought to undermine it (original here).
Israel’s dovish Kadima government only began the operation in Gaza because it had no choice. For months then prime minister Ehud Olmert sat on his hands as southern Israel was pummeled with unprovoked barrages of thousands of missiles and rockets from Gaza. Olmert was forced to take action after Hamas massively escalated its rocket and missile attacks in November and early December 2008.

While silent about Palestinian aggression, Norway’s government attacked Israel for defending itself. As Store put it, “The Israeli ground offensive in Gaza constitutes a dramatic escalation of the conflict. Norway strongly condemns any form of warfare that causes severe civilian suffering, and calls on Israel to withdraw its forces immediately.”

Two of [Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr] Store’s associates, Eric Fosse and Mads Gilbert, decamped to Gaza during Cast Lead and set up shop in Shifa Hospital. The two were fixtures in the Norwegian media, which constantly interviewed them throughout the conflict, and so spread their libelous charges against the IDF without question.

Fosse and Gilbert never mentioned that Hamas’s high command was located at the hospital in open breach of the laws of war.

When they returned home, they co-authored a book in which they accused the IDF of entering Gaza with the express goal of murdering women and children.

Store wrote a blurb of endorsement on the book’s back cover.
And finally, there's this little story (from the same source), which is totally incongruous with Norway's professed friendship toward Israel.
It is a fact that the day before Breivik’s massacre of teenagers at the Labor Party’s youth camp on Utoya Island, Store spoke to them about the need to destroy Israel’s security fence. The campers role-played pro- Hamas activists breaking international law by challenging Israel’s lawful maritime blockade of the Gaza coastline.

They held signs calling for a boycott of Israel.
Sorry, Ambassador Sevje. Talk is cheap. Your country's actions don't show friendship toward Israel. If anything, they show a visceral hatred for Israel and Jews and a level of sympathy for 'Palestinian' terrorism that is unmatched outside the Arab world.

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At 5:32 AM, Blogger Sunlight said...

Until they answer this question, they have zero credibility: Did Breivik, who was raised in a Labor family, ever attend that Island Paradise Brainwash Camp as a youngster himself? Because, if you look at the Daily Mail photos of him leading the investigators around the island to recreate the crime, he sure did look at home.

What the aggrieved Breivik did matches what they are suggesting that the "aggrieved" Hamasniks continue doing. Fits well with the leftist/marxist way of doing things.


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