It should be hard to pick on Norwegians and their government this week, but it is impossible to overlook Svein Sevje, Norway's ambassador to Israel. Trying to "outline the similarity and the difference in the two cases" (mass murder of Norwegians by a Norwegian and mass murder of Jews by Palestinians) the ambassador showed himself to be both ignorant and arrogant.
"We Norwegians consider the occupation to be the cause of the terror against Israel," he said. First of all, who cares what Norwegians "consider"? Consider for a moment upon whom they have bestowed the Nobel "Peace" Prize. But beyond that, his point is that a political situation that the Palestinians don't like is an understandable - if not acceptable - reason to engage in terrorism against Israel. In other words, dead Jews are Israel's fault.
The Palestinians were offered a state at the UN in 1947, next to the State of Israel. The presumptive Palestinian state was aborted by Arabs who ended up in illegal occupation of most of where it should have been. Israel acquired the territory in a later attempt by the Arabs to erase the Jewish state. Israel, even after decades of war and terrorism is still willing to agree to a neighboring Palestinian state (an act of enormous forbearance and generosity) as long as the legitimacy of Israel is finally acknowledged and accepted by those same Palestinians. But it isn't. So killing Jews makes sense. Right?
Na'ava Applebaum and her father Dr. David Applebaum were murdered in a café the night before her wedding; six members of the Schijveschuurder family were massacred while eating pizza at a Sbarro restaurant; and 92-year-old Chanah Rogan was blown up at a Passover Seder. Their deaths, according to Ambassador Sevje, were "because of a defined (Palestinian) goal that is related to the Israeli occupation. There are elements of revenge against Israel and hatred of Israel. To this you can add the religious element to their actions.
"In the case of the terror attack in Norway," he continued, "the murderer had an ideology that says that Norway, particularly the Labor Party, is forgoing Norwegian culture," trying and failing to make sense of Anders Breivik, who blew up a government building and killed scores of children at a summer camp with a hunting rifle.
Let's see if we understand. The ideology that says Israel cannot be the nation-state of the Jewish people and Jews are expendable in the quest for Palestine "from the River to the Sea" is OK, but the ideology that says Norway should be for Norwegians of a certain sort and not for others is not OK.
Or - it is understandable for Palestinians to kill Jewish children but it is not understandable for Norwegians to kill Norwegian children. There are "elements of revenge...and hatred" in Palestinians who kill Jews, but that's because Jews are occupiers. There were no "elements of revenge...and hatred" in Anders Breivik. He just loved those Norwegian government employees and Norwegian children he killed. Or maybe the Ambassador meant that no one in his right mind would kill Norwegian children, so Breivik is demented. But you - or at least he - can understand how Palestinians could kill Jewish children, that act isn't demented, it is rational, caused by the damned Jews and their state. Breivik, by his theory, is a fluke in an otherwise nice, loving, rational, diverse, multicultural and superior Norway.
By Ambassador Sevje's accounting, Israel is a miserable occupier that deserves whatever it gets. "Those who believe [that terrorism against Israelis is the result of Israeli behavior] will not change their mind because of the attack in Oslo."
This man is a representative of the Norwegian government.
Ignorant and arrogant doesn't begin to cover it.