Norway: anti-Israel article

Jostein Gaardner, an internationally known Norwegian writer, came out last week with an anti-Israel, anti-Jewish piece titled "The Chosen People". (You can read about it on the Norwegian News blog).

The piece started off a storm in Norway and caused Gaardner to come out with an explanation, saying he was very insulted to be called an anti-Semite. Aftenposten published several articles on the topic in English:
Injured and threatened, Frightened by reactions, Hate mail and dialogue, Clumsy fall in familiar trap and I wrote out of disgust for the war.

[Please note that despite Gaardner being the one injured, threatened and frightened, the people getting the hate mail are the Jewish community.]

Now, this same peace which has caused such an uproar, is flaunted by one of Norway's Arab writers as a hope for peace. The writer, Walid al-Kubaisi, had supported freedom of the press during the Mohammed cartoon affair, and for that he should be commended. However, I wonder how many Norwegian articles that came out then apologizing for Norway and its press, did he bother to translate and send to the Arab world. Wouldn't that have made more an impact for peace? Wouldn't that have showed more that Norway cares about what Muslims feel? Apparently, one anti-Israel piece is worth it all.

Author Walid al-Kubaisi calls Jostein Gaarder's highly controversial critique of Israel "a gleam of light for the Arab world", and has sent an Arabic translation to at least 40 Arab newspapers and web sites.

Walid al-Kubaisi has been a prominent writer in Norway, and has expressed his opposition to fundamentalist Islam on several occasions. Now he strongly supports Jostein Gaarder's provocative attack on recent Israeli actions in the Middle East, and has sent a translation to leading Arab culture desks.

"I contacted Gaarder for permission, but received no answer. After finding an extremely inaccurate translation on a web site I felt compelled to send out my translation. I have sent it to countries like Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and all leading cultural editors," al-Kubaisi said.

"This is big news, for Arabs, that an intellectual from Norway weeps for their suffering. It is important that it becomes known, and that one learns that it is the man who wrote "Sophie's World" that writes this. It is powerful that Gaarder's article is written in a Lutheran society. It is as strange to people as a flying saucer on Karl Johan (Oslo's main avenue)," al-Kubaisi said.

Al-Kubaisi said that he has spoken to many intellectuals that support Gaarder but feel that the time is not right to say the same.

"Some time in the future Norwegians will say: Why did we react so strongly to Gaarder? I do not support Hezbollah. For the same reason I cannot support Israel. To kill children is a criminal act. How can the world accept what is happening? As a humanist I feel honored to read a Norwegian humanist who distances himself from the concept of God's chosen people. It is racist to claim that some are chosen, it means that God has rejected the rest," al-Kubaisi said.

Al-Kubaisi feels that Gaarder has criticized both Hezbollah and Hamas in the piece as well. He does not expect trouble for helping publish the piece in the Arab world, arguing that it would be published anyway, sooner or later.

Al-Kubaisi believes that Gaarder will receive respect in the Arab world and that Norway should take advantage of this.

"I say to (Foreign Minister) Jonas Gahr Støre, this is a good starting point for dialogue and peace efforts with the Arab world. So don't ignore this, please. Especially now with the terror attempt in London, it is very important. With Gaarder we can create a new history," al-Kubaisi said.

Source: Aftenposten (English)

6 comments:

nouille said...
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nouille said...

With Gaarder we can create a new history," al-Kubaisi said.


Hmmmmm, and just what might that "history" be that he would like to see? The total elimination of Israel and Jews living as second class citizens?


I am soo sick of European leftist pseudo intellectuals writing or saying anti semitic trash that the Euro media publishes and then when they are called out on it, they act surprised that anyone would call them an anti semite and lash out.

SCANDINAVIAS HISTORY AS AN ANTI SEMITIC REGION IS WELL ESTABLISHED.


Between the end of the 13th century and 1814 Norway was ruled by Denmark. In 1814 the European great powers decided that Norway should enter a personal union with Sweden under the Swedish King, thereby delaying its independence until 1905. But in 1814 a wave of patriotism swept the country. Although the bid for independence was unsuccessful on that occasion, a basic law or constitution was passed in 1814 which in very many respects has remained unchanged right up to the present. This constitution has ever since been regarded as the Nation's letter of freedom, with one disastrous exception concerning the Jews.

Of the numerous constitutional drafts drawn up before the constituent assembly only a couple prohibited Jews from entering the country. The cleric Nicolai Wergeland's hostility to Jews was the most sharply worded: "No person of the Jewish creed may enter Norway, far less settle down there".

http://www.amscan.org/benkow.html

Snouck said...

Snouck:
This Gaarder seems to have been hiding in the woodwork. He choose this time to appear and show what a pretty creature he is.

Nouille:
"Of the numerous constitutional drafts drawn up before the constituent assembly only a couple prohibited Jews from entering the country. The cleric Nicolai Wergeland's hostility to Jews was the most sharply worded: "No person of the Jewish creed may enter Norway, far less settle down there"."

Snouck:
Ja. Nouille, I have a question for you. Do you think it is easy for a non-Jew to become a citizens of Israel?

I believe that every nation has the duty to define and protect the laws and borders that they put up to keep outsiders on the outside.

The Americans have this duty, for instance against the Mexicans. And the Norse have this duty, against Mexicans. And Muslims. Or against Jews. Nothing wrong with that, I believe.

Negating these duties against one group means negating them against all groups and is inevitably an end to a nation.

Harsh, but that is how it is.

nouille said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
nouille said...

Sadly, Americans are not allowed to have this type of pride in keeping America American. We are not a race but, an idea. I am of European lineage, but I am called American.


I am for Nations keeping their culture and borders but I can't understand what it is about jews/Israel that Europe dislikes so much, why no fuss about the real problem makers, the arabs/muslims?

I see white Europeans holding Hizballah flags like stupid dhimmis.

Give these people power and watch what they'll do. Keep thinking thay are a "down trodden minority" and practice a religion of peace and only want to get along, IT'S ALL RUBBISH- THEY DON'T.


I am not informed about what it takes to become an Israeli citizen. I can't imagine why a non Jew would live there.


Snouck said: believe that every nation has the duty to define and protect the laws and borders that they put up to keep outsiders on the outside.

Isn't that what Israel is trying to do, secure their country and keep it's borders? Mr. Gaarder doesn't seem to think Israel has any rights. Yet, I am sure he supports Iran's rights to a nuclear programme.

Esther said...

Snouck,

On the surface of it, your comparison sounds valid, but there are quite a few differences between "no Jew may enter Norway" and Israel's immigration policy.

1. Any Christian, Muslim or whatever other faith may enter Israel. The only people Israel doesn't want to enter are those who profess to hurt it. This is true of most countries.

2. Israel has a pro-Jewish immigration policy, indeed. This could be compared to a country giving automatic citizenship to its citizens based on birth. Israel's citizenship laws do enable non-Jews to attain citizenship. It might not be as easy, but it is possible.

3. Many non-Jews come to Israel and settle there permanently (regardless of not having citizenship).

4. Though it is seen like that, Israel is not an immigration state. This is also the case in Europe and the rest of the world. If a person wants to immigrate to Israel/Europe (who is not a national), he needs to undergo scrutiny and uphold certain requirements by law. [as a side note: I think most immigration to the Netherlands today, both Muslim and non-Muslim is done through family reunification. This is also a possibility in Israel].

4. Most importantly, Israel does not say that "a certain group is not allowed to enter/live in Israel". Though I agree that a national state has a right to decide who enters its borders, I do not agree that any group can be excluded based on religion, race or any other character. If the Netherlands, for example, does not want to accept immigration that is its right. If they want to impose restrictions (financial, medical, declaring loyalty etc) that is their right. However, it would be wrong to say "no Hindu may enter", "no Muslims may enter" or "no Jew may enter".

I do not think Europe has a wise immigration policy, and they haven't had one for decades. A Nation-State has a right to defend itself and to enable its nation and people to lead their lives in the traditional way they have defined for itself. This can be done without falling into the trap of racism or anti-Semitism. Falling into that trap only strengthens those who claim that patriotism and nationalism are a mask for fascism and racism and causes people who should be standing up for their rights to stay silent.