Commentary Magazine


Contentions

European Left Applying Libya Precedent to Israel, Calling for Military Action

This could not have been more predictable:

The junior partner in the Norwegian government, the Socialist Left Party of Kristin Halvorsen, (Sosialistisk Venstreparti), plans to vote on a measure calling for military action against Israel if it decides to act against the Hamas in Gaza… Here is the less than lucid reasoning behind the motion: The credibility of the world community in its confrontation with the Gadafi regime is undermined when there is no reaction against other states in the region who commit injustices against civil population. The greater world community must therefore also react against Israeli air attacks on the Gaza strip.

Admittedly Norway might be a special case. The country’s level of institutionalized anti-Israel hostility is pathological. Norway is where the Israelis are being evicted from their embassy because there are too many security threats against their building. Those security threats are incited in part by Norwegian authorities who fund anti-Israel hatefests, whether in the form of Israel-hating all-star academic seminars or via blood-soaked exhibits that line up dead Palestinian babies with Nazi-style IDF helmets. The Israelis are trying to relocate elsewhere, but no one is willing to rent land to the country’s favorite Two Minute Hate target. So it’s unclear what’s going to happen.

Norway also has a long tradition of trying to shield genocidal partisans from Israeli retaliation. In 1992 Norwegian UNIFIL troops smuggled Lebanese terrorists away from the IDF, one of many stunts before and after that caused the Israelis to distrust their participation in the international force. The country is also an incubator for creative anti-Israel lawfare, as happened when the Red Cross floated the idea of prosecuting dual Israeli-Norwegian citizens for war crimes. So it’s no surprise that Oslo would be at the forefront of trying to apply the Libya Responsibility-to-Protect precedent to Israel.

But with due deference to Norway’s status as a particularly toxic cesspool of anti-Israel incitement, the idea won’t stay in Oslo. Ambassador Rice and President Obama have succeeded in linking the use of national force with a particularly flexible interpretation of international humanitarianism. Contemporary international humanitarianism, in turn, is a pretext seething activists and government officials use to obsess over Israel. With every juridical tool imaginable already being turned against the Jewish state, it’s inevitable that this newer and more expansive precedent will soon become very popular.