Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Point and Counterpoint

An exchange over at the Jerusalem Post:

Caroline Glick:
Another aspect of the same anti-liberal behavior is the tendency by many to pick and choose which sorts of terrorism are acceptable and which are unacceptable, in accordance with the ideological justifications the terrorists give for their actions. The most recent notable example of this behavior is an interview that Norwegian Ambassador Svein Sevje gave to Ma’ariv on Tuesday.

Ma’ariv asked Sevje whether in the wake of Breivik’s terrorist attack Norwegians would be more sympathetic to the victimization of innocent Israelis by Palestinian terrorists.

Sevje said no, and explained, “We Norwegians view the occupation as the reason for terror against Israel. Many Norwegians still see the occupation as the reason for attacks against Israel. Whoever thinks this way, will not change his mind as a result of the attack in Oslo.”

So in the mind of the illiberal Norwegians, terrorism is justified if the ideology behind it is considered justified. For them it is unacceptable for Breivik to murder Norwegian children, because his ideology is wrong. But it is acceptable for Palestinians to murder Israeli children, because their ideology is right.
Barry Rubin:
One of the most sensitive aspects of the murderous terrorist attack in Norway by a right-wing gunman is this irony: The youth camp he attacked was engaged in what was essentially (though the campers didn’t see it that way, no doubt) a pro-terrorist program.
Norway's deputy foreign minister Espen Barth Eide responds to Glick and Rubin:
The suggestion that Norway would condone or promote terrorism, particularly in the direct aftermath of this terrible attack, is both incorrect and disappointing.

We will continue to meet statements that we disagree with in a spirit of democratic tolerance and openness, and we will continue to defend the right of The Jerusalem Post and its columnists to hold different view to ours. But we cannot deny that statements like those I have referred to have dismayed us, particularly at the present time.
Caroline Glick defends with offence:
Since my column was a defense of free speech and a general explanation of why terrorism is antithetical to the foundations of liberal democracy – regardless of its ideological motivations – I did not focus my attention on Norwegian society. I did not discuss Norwegian anti- Semitism or anti-Zionism. Indeed, I purposely ignored these issues.

But when on Friday, Norway’s Deputy Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide published an unjustified attack on me on these pages, he forced me to take the time to study the intellectual and political climate of hatred towards Israel and Jews that pervades Norwegian society.

That climate is not a contemporary development.

Rather it has been a mainstay of Norwegian society.
Barry Rubin's turn:
Essentially, the position of Norway’s media and government is this: Hamas isn’t terrorist, but I’m pro-terrorist.
I should have titled this "How to Win Friends and Influence People".


Smut Clyde said...

Wikipedia provides an amusing link:

The responses from Norwegian Jews led to Jerusalem Post posting a follow up piece called "Inside story: Stumbling in Norway" retracting many of the allegations, and summing up the response from Norwegian Jews:

In general, they say, Norway does not suffer from widespread anti-Semitism. Norwegian Jews are an accepted and respected part of the country. But, they add, there are rare incidents of tension over their Jewishness, usually with children being teased in school or with Muslim immigrants bringing their politics into their day-to-day meetings with Jews.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Shorter Caroline Glick:

"Jennifer Rubin thinks she's a rightwing, neocon, racist asshole? I'll show her what it's all about!!!one1!"

Substance McGravitas said...

In the effort to make a post I've really truncated what everybody's saying. Glick and Rubin do a convincing job of being completely nuts.

vacuumslayer said...

Shorter Glick: if you sympathize at all with the Palestinians you are not allowed to condemn Breivik.

tigris said...

Why do any onerous picking and choosing when the ideological justification of "defending Israel" always renders any action acceptable?

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

One doesn't have to be pro-Hamas to sympathize with Palestinians. Unfortunately, it always seems to be the lunatics that call the shots these days.