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Emet m'Tsiyon

Monday, January 29, 2007

Is Norway Fit to Mediate?

Actually, we could just as well ask whether the European Union is fit to mediate. By the way, to cut the suspense, the answer in both cases is NO. But let's stay with Norway in this post. Norway is a relatively small country with a population smaller yet, that is rather sparsely distributed throughout much of the country. Nevertheless, Norwegian diplomacy has very big ambitions. It wishes to take up the role of unversal peacemaker. A Norwegian journalist here in Jerusalem once explained to me that this aspiration derived from a very big egotism. Be that as it may, the Norwegian diplomats have been active in the Land of Israel promoting Arab fascists and Nazis who could make the Quislings, the native Norwegian Nazis, look like pacifist school girls by comparison. Besides interfering in the Land of Israel, the militantly pacifist descendants of the Viking marauders arranged truces in Sri Lanka, and modestly volunteered to supervise the truce between the government and rebels there. As one can imagine, based on our own experience with the consequences of Norwegian mediation, bloody warfare and terrorism still go on in Sri Lanka, with Norwegian-mediated truces from time to time to give both sides a chance to regroup and rearm.

Before we forget, some of Quisling's supporters too were militantly pacifist and that's why they supported Hitler. It was for the sake of peace. Further, it was a Norwegian, apparently a Quisling supporter and German agent, who helped found and suggested the name for the original "peace now" group. The original "Peace Now Movement" militated against the war on Nazi Germany in the 1940s. They wanted the United States to make peace with Hitler. The "Peace Now Movement"/"Peace Now Committee" shut down operations in 1944 when its financing was being investigated by a US congressional committee. The Norwegian founder of this original "Peace Now" group was one John Collett, whose father was a Norwegian factory owner.
[Source: look for "peace now" in New York Times index for 1942-1944; also see this article on the Net for more sources]

Norway's history is Judeophobic, like that of all of Western Europe. The Norwegian Legal Code promulgated by the sovereign ruler of Norway, King Christian V of Denmark, in 1685, forbid Jews to come into Norway without a special permit. Otherwise, the Jew was to be arrested, fined, and deported. Some Jews were jailed for violation of this rule in 1734, although they were allowed into Denmark. Norway's supposedly liberal constitution of 1814 excluded Jews from the country, and stipulated that all children in the country must be educated as Lutherans. The ban on Jews was repealed in 1851. In the 1930s, Norway severely restricted the admission of Jewish refugees. The collaborationist pro-Nazi government of Vidkun Quisling facilitated persecution of Jews and the deportation of Jews to German death camps, although many escaped to Sweden with the help of Norwegians. [see "Norway" in Encyclopedia Judaica]

After WW2, there seems to have been a sense of contrition among some Norwegians. Trygve Lie, a Norwegian and first secretary-general of the UN, was sympathetic to Israel. The flurry of sympathy for Jews and Israel seems to have lasted into the early 1970s. However, the anti-Israel forces in the West, making use of the "palestinian people" notion, and working in Norway through socialist parties, have succeeded in making Israel a pariah in Norway. By the way, the anti-Israel stance of Norway's socialist parties does not seem to derive from a need for Arab oil. Norway has plenty of oil of its own. Pro-Arab, pro-PLO indoctrination has been carried out through the educational system and the media. Nevertheless, Israel does have some friends in Norway, particularly among the conservatives and some of the churches.

All in all, Norway has no right to mediate between Israel and the Arabs. We are still suffering the results of Norway's earlier mediation in bringing about the horrendous Oslo accords.
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Coming: More on Hebron, Jews in Jerusalem, peace follies, etc.

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