All caring people grieve with and for the people of Norway, who will suffer from last Friday’s crime – especially given the loss of a generation of leaders – for years to come.
But we must take issue with Svein Sevje, Norway’s ambassador to Israel, who has made a wrongheaded distinction between the terror attacks in Oslo and attacks by Palestinians against Israeli civilians.
While stressing that both “are completely unacceptable,” he added that “[t]he difference is that Palestinians are attacking Israel through the means of terrorist actions. Never mind how unacceptable or terrible it is, they are doing this with a defined 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 dimension to their actions. In any case, there is a principle motive to their actions.”
Sevje seems blind to the fact that the Oslo shooter also had a “defined goal,” a “principle motive.” (The translation is courtesy of CAMERA. We’re not sure if the word should more properly be “principal” or “principled,” and if the latter the comment is doubly disturbing.)
Sevje continued, “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.”
How sad, and how foolish, and how just plain wrong.
The Norwegians have had their first taste of terrorism (and we hope it will be their last). It would be a pity – along with the pitiable dead and wounded – if they do not learn from it.