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Friday, April 01, 2011

Norway's anti-Israel boycott

Alan Dershowitz is the type of Jew the 'international community' claims to like. He is pro-Israel but he is a proponent of the 'two-state solution' and in the style of Israel's Left would gladly give up all of Judea and Samaria - if only there was someone willing to take them.

Professor Dershowitz recently visited Norway where he offered to lecture at three different universities free of charge. All of them turned him down. Professor Dershowitz wrote a post about his experiences, which he called Norway's "boycott" of pro-Israel professors. I've taken the scare quotes off the boycott - because after reading Dershowitz's post, I have no doubt the boycott is real. And I have no doubt that it extends beyond professors to anyone connected to Israel. In fact, if it doesn't extend to all Jews already, it's on its way there.
Only once before have I been prevented from lecturing at universities in a country. The other country was Apartheid South Africa where the government insisted on "approving" the text of my proposed talks on human rights. I declined.

But despite the refusal of the faculties of Norway's three major universities to invite me to deliver lectures on Israel and international law, I delivered three lectures to packed auditoriums at each university. It turns out that the students wanted to hear me, despite their professors' efforts to keep my views from them. Student groups invited me. I came. And I received sustained applause both before and after my talks. Faculty members boycotted my talks and declined even to meet with me. I was recently told that free copies of the Norwegian translation of my book, The Case For Israel, were offered to several university libraries in Norway and that they declined to accept them.

It was then that I realized why all this was happening. At all of the Norwegian universities, there have been efforts to enact an academic and cultural boycott of Jewish Israeli academics. This boycott is directed against Israel's "occupation" of Palestinian land, but the occupation that the hundreds of signers referred to is not of the West Bank but rather of every single inch of Israel. Here is the first line of the petition: "Since 1948 the state of Israel has occupied Palestinian land…" Not surprisingly, the administrations of the universities have refused to go along with this form of academic collective punishment of all Jewish Israeli academics. So the formal demand for an academic and cultural boycott has failed. But in practice, it exists. Jewish pro-Israel speakers are subjected to a de facto boycott. Moreover, all Jews are presumed to be pro-Israel unless they have a long track record of anti-Israel rhetoric.

Read the words of the first signer of the academic boycott petition—an assistant professor of Trondheim named Trond Andresen as he writes about the "Jews"—not the Israelis!
"There is something immensely self-satisfied and self-centered at the tribal mentality that is so prevalent among Jews. [Not] only the religious but also a large proportion of the large secular group consider their own ethnic group as worth more than all other ethnic groups. [Jews] as a whole, are characterized by this mentality…it is no less legitimate to say such a thing about Jews in 2008-2009 than it was to make the same point about the Germans around 1938. [There is] a red carpet for the Jewish community…and a new round of squeezing and distorting the influence of the quite dry Holocaust lemon…."
This line of talk—directed at Jews not Israel or Israelis—is apparently acceptable among many in the elite of Norway. Consider former Prime Minister Kare Willock's reaction to President Obama's selection of Rahm Emanuel as his first Chief of Staff:
"It does not look too promising, he has chosen a chief of staff who is Jewish, and it is a matter of fact that many Americans look to the Bible rather than to the realities of today...."
Willock, of course, did not know anything about Emanuel's views. He based his criticism on the sole fact that Emanuel is a Jew.

All Jews are apparently the same in this country that has done everything in its power to make life in Norway nearly impossible for Jews. Norway was apparently the first modern nation to prohibit the production of Kosher meat, while at the same time permitting Halal meat and encouraging the slaughter of seals, whales and other animals that are protected by international treaties. No wonder less than 1000 Jews live in Norway. No wonder the leader of the tiny and frightened Jewish community didn't get around to meet me during my visit to his country. (The Chabad rabbi did reach out to me and I had a wonderful visit with a group of Norwegian Jews at the Chabad house.) It reminded me of my visits to the Soviet Union in the bad old days.
Read the whole thing.

Here's Chabada's account of Dershowitz's visit to the Oslo Chabad House - where he met the only Jews who were willing to receive him in Norway.
Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz met with leading members of Oslo’s Jewish community at the city’s Chabad House last week, where he spoke about the extreme anti-Israel, anti-Semitic attitudes he encountered in Norway. He urged them to take lessons in Jewish pride and courage from Chabad.

The world famous civil rights lawyer who is typically invited to meet with heads of state wherever he travels, told the group of about 30—among them a number of professors—that he was turned down for meetings with Norway’s leaders. His offers to speak at NTNU-Trondheim and Oslo universities were also declined because of his views on Israel.

“I’ve spoken at every major university in the world, German, Russian, Chinese universities, and even at Bir Zeit. Only twice in my life have I been turned down. The first time in Apartheid South Africa when I was Nelson Mandela’s lawyer, and the only other time has been here.”
One of the things I greatly admire about Chabad is how they are willing to go to the ends of the earth to bring Jews closer to Judaism. Nine years ago, Mrs. Carl and I (and son # 3 child # 6, who was a toddler at the time) spent a Sabbath with another Chabad emissary in another European community. We were in touch by email before we went and offered to bring him anything he wanted from Israel. He wanted very little.

When we got there, we found out that he and his wife make all their own food because there is almost nothing Kosher available in the country in which they live. He had been there for many years, and he and his wife have many children bli ayin hara (warding off evil eyes). He has more children than I have. Many more.

His wife home-schooled their children until they were 12-13, and then they were sent off to a boarding school in another Jewish community that is 16 hours away by car or train. And they usually don't come home for the holidays. They go to New York to spend holidays with the Lubavitch community.

But the most amazing thing was what he told me about the community itself. He said that anyone whom he convinced to become religious had to immediately move out of the community, because their basic needs as religious Jews could not be fulfilled there (we were in the country for a week and brought all our own food). So the rabbi himself never had a base of supporters with whom he could work. Obviously, his dedication to this extremely thankless task is astounding. I suspect that Oslo, whose emissary looks much younger (the man with the long black beard in the picture above) is, if anything, worse than that other community where I visited.

And if I were in that emissary's position in Oslo, I believe I would have to place a high priority on getting Jews to leave the country. Oslo is a hostile environment to Jews even if they are not being rounded up to concentration camps, God forbid.

If you look at the comments to the post about Dershowitz's visit to the Chabad House, you will see that (at this moment) there is one comment and it is taking the rabbi to task for inviting Dershowitz to speak there. The commenter states that Dershowitz is a proponent of the 'two-state solution.' The Lubavitcher Rebbe zt"l (may the memory of the righteous be a blessing), as is well-known, was a proponent of a one-state solution for Jews only.

I disagree with the commenter. The most important thing that the Oslo Chabad rabbi did was to show his flock how completely hopeless their situation is in Oslo. After all, if Alan Dershowitz, who is identifiably Jewish but holds politically correct views, is prevented from speaking in Norway, what hope is there for those who are religious or who are on their way to becoming religious? By inviting Dershowitz, the rabbi performed a selfless act for which he is to be commended.

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At 4:25 PM, Blogger 935684 said...

I guess it's no accident that Vidkun Quisling was a Norwegian. I think you've said before, Carl, that the apple doesn't stray far from the tree.

At 11:18 PM, Blogger ais cotten19 said...

Peace is not too promising because many Americans look to the bible rather than reality?

I think I'll keep proudly looking to the bible, thank you anyways Mr. ex-Prime Minister of Norway.

Still, at least he's smarter than Stephen Walt.


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