6:20 PM, Aug 8, 2012 • By ELLIOTT ABRAMS
Scandinavia is boring. People living there apparently have little to do. And as European history teaches, when there is nothing much to do you may as well amuse yourself by attacking the Jews.
It was bad enough when a judge in Germany barred circumcision, and that decision was followed by similar moves in Austria and Switzerland (and then widely attacked in Germany, by everyone from Chancellor Merkel on down). Now comes a suggestion from a Norwegian official called the “Ombudsman for Children in Norway” proposing that the ancient procedure be replaced by a “symbolic, nonsurgical ritual.” Apparently in Norway it is possible to create religiously meaningful rituals overnight, which is an insight into the understanding of religion in Norwegian public life. And Norway’s “Centre Party,” which is a member of the governing coalition, has just proposed that circumcision be outlawed entirely. One gets some inkling into local politics when that’s the view of the Centre Party—not the fringes. In this context we might recall that, as the news story puts it, “Norway is among a handful of European countries where the kosher slaughter of animals is prohibited.”
But that kind of assault on Jewish practice isn’t sufficient for Scandinavians, because the anti-Israel element is missing or merely implicit. So on Tuesday we found that “Scandinavian activist groups are launching an aid ship destined for Gaza… hoping to challenge the Israeli blockade.” Their ship is “backed mainly by Swedish and Norwegian groups.”
“We have the same goal as the previous flotillas, to put an end to the blockade of Gaza by challenging the Israeli navy,” said Torstein Dahle, the leader of the Norwegian section of the activist group “Ship to Gaza.”
This action is perfectly timed. This week the new Muslim Brotherhood government of Egypt has closed the main Gaza/Egypt border crossing at Rafah indefinitely and sent bulldozers to seal off the many smuggling tunnels after several terrorist attacks on Egyptian police and military personnel in Sinai. The Egyptians believe jihadists were able to meet, organize, and cross into Egypt from Gaza. Hamas has complained that this is collective punishment of Gazans by Egypt. There is even a religious element: “The shutdown at Rafah has so far prevented 3,000 Gazans from heading to Saudi Arabia for ‘umrah,’ the minor pilgrimage believed to bring greater merit if carried out during Ramadan.”
I have yet to see the news that the Scandinavians are turning their boat around or sailing it to Alexandria to “put an end to the blockade of Gaza,” but obviously that would be no fun. The fun comes in attacking Jews: their rituals, their religion, and the Jewish state. It is particularly disappointing to see how Norway has fallen into this pattern, because for many years it followed a balanced Middle East policy that avoided anti-Israel attacks. No longer; for example, in 2010 Norway “informed German shipbuilding company Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) that it will no longer be allowed to test Israel-bound submarines in its territorial waters as part of the country's ban on security exports to Israel.” It’s less surprising to see this from Swedes, whose antipathy to Jews is not so new. There are so many attacks on Jews in Malmo these days that the city is considered unsafe for Jewish life, and the city’s mayor commented in 2010—apparently thinking he was defending the city—that “We accept neither anti-Semitism nor Zionism in Malmö.” Nor Judaism, it seems: Sweden too has outlawed Jewish ritual slaughter, as has Denmark.
Perhaps the “Ombudsman for Children in Norway” and the mayor of Malmo could join the “Ship To Gaza,” bringing together all the various forms of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel activity. After all, it’s summer in Scandinavia.
4:52 PM, Aug 3, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
MSNBC host Martin Bashir interviewed Stanton Peele, a psychologist and an "expert on addiction," this afternoon. Bashir urged Peele to psychologically evaluate supporters of the Tea Party. "It reminds us of addiction because addicts are seeking something that they can't have," Peele said.
9:39 AM, Aug 3, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
In his column for Tablet, Lee Smith asks, "The recent massacres in Oslo, Norway, and Hama, Syria, were both carried out by heartless sociopaths. Why does one of them—Syria’s Bashar al-Assad—continue to enjoy diplomatic relations with Washington?"
11:09 AM, Jul 25, 2011 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
The horrific events in Norway last Friday have been difficult to process, and killer Anders Breivik's 1,500 page manifesto is a lot to digest. Fortunately, there have been some exceptionally good pieces written about the tragedy that help provide some context and understanding for what happened and why.
Bruce Bawer, who lives in Oslo, writes about the tense state of Muslim relations in Norway.
7:48 AM, Jul 24, 2011 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
American counterterrorism officials have long worried about the possibility of a “lone wolf” jihadist committing a terrorist attack.
8:55 PM, Jul 23, 2011 • By RICHARD STARR
The Norwegian terrorist seems to have penned a long Unabomber-style manifesto, "2083: A European Declaration of Indpendence," which can be downloaded, for now at least, at this link.
9:26 AM, May 9, 2011 • By SOHRAB AHMARI
Oslo—During the Second World War, Nazi Germany occupied Norway over five brutal years. By the time the Scandinavian nation was liberated by Allied forces and its indigenous resistance movement, more than 10,000 Norwegians had lost their lives and almost as many had spent time in German concentration camps throughout Europe.
And creates its own.2:38 PM, Feb 7, 2011 • By JOHN ROSENTHAL
In a major development that has been largely ignored or misrepresented in the American media, the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten has obtained access to the full stash of over 250,000 classified American diplomatic cables previously obtained by WikiLeaks. The paper has been posting a steady stream of cables to its own website independently of the self-styled “whistleblower organization.”
So much for the TIP’s alleged “China only” focus.10:10 AM, Jul 10, 2010 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
Last week, the details of the plot to bomb New York City subways in 2009 expanded dramatically. We learned that the NYC plot was connected to two others, in the UK and Norway, and that all three can be traced back to senior al Qaeda leadership in northern Pakistan.
Socialism, air travel bans, radical Islam, and other items in the Norwegian landscape.12:00 AM, Apr 21, 2010 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
For anybody with a lingering belief that some form of socialism is benevolent, a visit to Norway, where I came during my first visit to Scandinavia, should settle any doubts: successful socialism is a fantasy.
Norway has oil wealth, a claim to superior public morality on which its awards of the Nobel Peace Prize are based, and a full-fledged social-democratic welfare system, based on confiscatory taxes. But even apart from its onerous tax levy, it has left ordinary Norwegians surprisingly poor. Once one leaves Oslo, which is drab, uninspiring, and depressing, and goes out to the countryside, many roads are as unpaved and potholed as in war-devastated and long-undeveloped Kosovo.
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