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Israelis' perverse glee in Oslo terror

The Israeli troll-o-sphere appears to be abuzz with ghastly cheerleading for the Oslo attacks. J.J. Goldberg notes the phenomenon in a July 24 comment for The Forward: "Judging by the comments sections on the main Hebrew websites, the main questions under debate seem to be whether Norwegians deserve any sympathy from Israelis given the country’s pro-Palestinian policies, whether the killer deserves any sympathy given his self-declared intention of fighting Islamic extremism and, perhaps ironically, whether calling attention to this debate is in itself an anti-Israel or anti-Semitic act."

Here's where Goldberg gets down and dirty with the specifics:

The debate exploded aboveground on Saturday in an opinion essay at Ynet (in Hebrew only) by Ziv Lenchner, a left-leaning Tel Aviv artist and one of Ynet’s large, bipartisan stable of columnists. It’s called “Dancing the Hora on Norwegian Blood.” He argues that the comment sections on news websites are a fair barometer of public sentiment (a questionable premise) and that the overwhelming response is schadenfreude, pleasure at Norway’s pain. As I’ll show below, that judgment seems pretty accurate...

His article has drawn hundreds of responses—more than any of the articles he complains about. They fall into four basic categories in roughly equal proportions: 1.) Hurray, the Norwegians had it coming; 2.) What happened is horrible but maybe now they’ll understand what we’re up against; 3.) What happened is horrible and the celebrations here are appalling; 4.) This article is a bunch of lies, Ziv Lenchner invented this whole schadenfreude thing because he’s a lying leftist who wants to destroy Israel.

It’s worth noting that at some point late on Saturday several readers found links to Norwegian news sites showing that some kids at the campground where the shooting took place had been brandishing signs a day or two earlier calling for a boycott of Israel. These links were posted (here and here) and the mood quickly got darker—sympathy for the shooting victims dropped fast.

Here are some charming samples of the responses to Ziv Lenchner's story:

15. they have it coming, period. Your article is pointless. Anyone who acts without mercy towards us, there’s no reason I should pity them!!!! Let them continue to respect and honor Muslims.

16. I never enjoyed any support from Norway all these years when there were terror attacks in Israel just the opposite you bent, corrupt person let them understand that terror is not a solution to anything you self-righteous Jew

54. Ziv Lenchner you’re a leftist!! If you haven’t noticed you’re a leftist like the rest of the media!!! Enough with the leftist incitement!!! There’s no getting away from it Norway was always against the state of Israel it’s not new and never will be!! We’re not in favor of the attack but to say that maybe they’ll understand us better after what happened is entirely legitimate!!!

303. I feel no sorrow about it!!!! Anyone who doesn’t feel the no pain of my people shouldn’t ask sympathy for his own pain.

392. We’re more unfortunate: Enough demagoguery! The Norwegians and Europe generally are super-anti-Semitic. So 100 people were killed there are 7 billion more people in the world. I don’t pity them they’re my enemies they hate Israel so they have it coming!!!

393. The whole world dances on Jewish blood. Europe is the same Europe and even more anti-Semitic. The killer is right!!! Europe is defeated, Norwegians are becoming a minority.

458. Very sorry: With all due sorrow they were waving a sign on the island the day before calling to boycott us. So I really don’t feeling like showing empathy. Very sorry...

The anti-Zionist blog Jews sans Frontieres has also made note of this ultra-creepy phenomenon. It notes responses to a July 24 Reuters story on a mourning ceremony in Oslo translated into Hebrew by the Israeli news site YNet. To wit:

2. It’s fun and warms the heart to see them crying!!!!

3. Go to hell. Haters of Jews/Israelis, anti-semites busy with the problems of others all day—here you got some too. [signed Zionist]

4. I have no identification with an anti-Semitic country that leads to the hatred of Israel. Not happy, not sorry.

5. All in all, what they asked for is what they got!!!!

6. [In Norwegian.] Serves you right, you Nazis.

7. He is a hero, kill all leftists, expel all Muslims.

8. European efficiency.

9. It’s only a matter of time until an Israeli rightwinger will do something similar.

11. I have hope too… that you have many more days of mourning and tears.

It should be noted that amid this barrage of hate there were a few dissenting comments, e.g.: "The ugly Israeli continues to talkback. Shame on you, you bunch of people who rejoice in the suffering of others dancing on the blood. It’s a shame that you even hold Israeli IDs." And certainly those who feel compelled to comment may not represent a typical cross-section of the general readership. Even so, this is definitely indicative of the ugly right-wing Jewish-chauvinist mood in Israel. It is also evidenced, albeit with greater subtlety, by a July 24 editorial in the Jerusalem Post, "Norway’s challenge":

Europe’s fringe right-wing extremists present a real danger to society. But Oslo’s devastating tragedy should not be allowed to be manipulated by those who would cover up the abject failure of multiculturalism...

Undoubtedly, there will be those – particularly on the Left – who will extrapolate out from Breivik’s horrific act that the real danger facing contemporary Europe is rightwing extremism and that criticism of multiculturalism is nothing more than so much Islamophobia...

Amartya Sen, the 1998 Nobel Prize laureate for welfare economics from India, has noted how terribly impractical it is to believe that the coexistence of an array of cultures in close proximity will lead to peace. Without a shared cultural foundation, no meaningful communication among diverse groups is possible, Sen has argued.

Norway, a country so oriented toward promoting peace, where the Muslim population is forecast to increase from 3 percent to 6.5% of the population by 2030, should heed Sen’s incisive analysis.

The challenge for Norway in particular and for Europe as a whole, where the Muslim population is expected to account for 8% of the population by 2030 according to a Pew Research Center, is to strike the right balance. Fostering an open society untainted by xenophobia or racism should go hand in hand with protection of unique European culture and values.

Europe’s fringe right-wing extremists present a real danger to society. But Oslo’s devastating tragedy should not be allowed to be manipulated by those who would cover up the abject failure of multiculturalism.

The denunciations of "right-wing extremists" sounded so perfunctory that the JP's editor-in-chief felt obliged to append a note at the end of the piece:

As a newspaper, The Jerusalem Post strongly denounces all acts of violence against innocent civilians. This editorial is not aimed at deflecting attention from the horrific massacre perpetuated in Norway, nor the need to take greater precautions against extremists from all sides.

Such ugliness has already been seized upon by paranoid pseudo-leftists who claim (on no evidence) that the Oslo attacks were a Mossad "false flag" operation. But will these Judeophobes also call out nearly identical ugliness issuing forth from the Teabaggers—and Pat Buchanan? The liberal blog ThinkProgress makes note of a July 24 Buchanan screed in the right-wing WorldNetDaily. After requisite rhetoric about how accused Oslo bomber Anders Behring Breivik "is evil—a cold-blooded, calculating killer," he cuts to the money quote:

But, awful as this atrocity was, native-born and homegrown terrorism is not the macro-threat to the continent.

That threat comes from a burgeoning Muslim presence in a Europe that has never known mass immigration, its failure to assimilate, its growing alienation, and its sometime sympathy for Islamic militants and terrorists.

Europe faces today an authentic and historic crisis.

With her native-born populations aging, shrinking and dying, Europe’s nations have not discovered how to maintain their prosperity without immigrants. Yet the immigrants who have come—from the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia – have been slow to learn the language and have failed to attain the educational and occupational levels of Europeans. And the welfare states of Europe are breaking under the burden...

As for a climactic conflict between a once-Christian West and an Islamic world that is growing in numbers and advancing inexorably into Europe for the third time in 14 centuries, on this one, Breivik may be right.

Yup, "evil," but he "may be right." This is especially troubling given Buchanan's ideological and political links to the terrorist right—namely, the militia movement of the '90s and its extremist spawn of the Timothy McVeigh variety.

Now, the paranoid pseudo-leftists parroting the Mossad conspiracy theory share in Buchanan's notorious Judeophobia. We have noted before the flirtation of certain segments of the "left" with the likes of Pat Buchanan. That's why we call this segment the pseudo-left or idiot left. Perhaps Pat ironically echoing the worst right-wing Israeli rhetoric will serve as a wake-up call for them.


J Post apologizes to Norway

The Jerusalem Post on Aug. 4 runs an editorial entitled "Apology to Norway," which doesn't exactly retract anything actually said but acknowledges that the paper's words caused "offense or hurt." It also runs an opinion piece by Norway’s deputy foreign minister, Espen Barth Eide, "A time to heal?," admonishing the paper for its outrageousness, including some stuff we missed. To wit:

For example, Barry Rubin wrote on Monday that "...the youth camp he attacked was engaged in what was essentially... a pro-terrorist program."

According to Rubin, the camp was "justifying forces that had committed terrorism against Israel" by advocating an end to the blockade of Gaza and recognition of a Palestinian state.

Rubin even implicitly blamed Norway’s Middle East policy for the attacks in Norway. He wrote, "If terrorist murders by Hamas and Islamists did not stop well-intentioned future leaders of Norway from considering them heroic underdogs, an evil local man could think his act of terrorism would gain sympathy and change Europe’s politics."

This was, Rubin claimed, an example of the “Oslo Syndrome” whereby rewarding terrorists with political gains promotes more terrorism.

The official responds with logic and clarity:

Our political position is crystal clear. And we have a proven track record of committing our political, financial and military resources to peace-building activities around the world, where combating both terrorism and the causes of terrorism are important objectives. Furthermore, it cannot be claimed that supporting recognition of a Palestinian state or an end to the blockade of Gaza is the same as supporting terrorism.

The suggestion that Norway would condone or promote terrorism, particularly in the direct aftermath of this terrible attack, is both incorrect and disappointing.

What is justified social comfort?

This is a great article, describing a nice gamut of the Israeli folk reaction to the Norway attack. The irony settles in with the question of A)Haven't Palestinians traditionally been reacting the same way, if not more so? Don't PEOPLES generally react that way, when some terrible disaster unfolds against people identified as hostile to them, especially when they can claim a clean bill of practical and ideological uninvolvement ("Chickens coming home to roost")

Breivik was not a Zionist, or even a philo-semite. In a different era he would have been more threatened by the Jewish-marxist threat to civilized Europe than the Islamic one. And in his total identification of Araby as enemy, for all the reasons that even (and especially) the most progressive of Westerners are also threatened by an incoming large religious global movement that does not identify with all the things they love about modernity (almost by defintion, although I believe in the capacity of every religion to adapt to modernity and comfort, given the right theological justifications and popular folk priorities.)

How much did the problem of Zionism begin with a similar violent reaction of nativist Arab communities against a demographic threat that came to build in their country, with a similar potential disregard for How Things Have Worked So Well here? How much is the history of tribal and national migration marred by this same conflict, between a progressive will to assimilate vs. the tensions that come from attachment to everything that made your people, culture, and national identity "great"? What's a more effective way to work around this, besides asking everyone to just give up what they value in the encounter with another, or fight for your Thing, by dialogue, propaganda, or violence if that's all you've got to work with?

Palestinian bloodlust does not excuse Israeli bloodlust

And the critical difference is that the Israelis are the occupiers and oppressors, while the Palestinians are the occupied and oppressed. So there is a different context for the bloodlust. That doesn't excuse anything either, but it is critical to understanding the juxtaposition of forces and finding an appropriate reaction.

The most insightful line in your post is "In a different era he would have been more threatened by the Jewish-marxist threat to civilized Europe than the Islamic one." Yes, there has been a proverbial sea-change in the past generation. Anti-Semitism was associated with the right, and fascists saw Jews as part of the threat to European civilization. Today, anti-Semitism is associated with the left, and fascists see Zionists as allies in defense of European civilization. Progressive Jews must urgently respond to this sinister reversal. That is why we launched this website.

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