Suggesting Israel is responsible for the terror attacks launched against it is senseless enough on its own. But for Norway’s ambassador to Israel reportedly to make this argument – at a time when the shock of the devastating Oslo attack is still lingering – is also profoundly callous. Maybe it shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering Norway’s long-standing anti-Israel sentiment, but the ambassador’s timing and tone-deafness is striking:
[Norwegian ambassador to Israel] Svein Sevje said in an Israeli newspaper interview Tuesday that while the Norwergian bomb and gun rampages that killed 76 people and Palestinian attacks should both be considered morally unacceptable, he wanted to “outline the similarity and the difference in the two cases.” …
“We Norwegians consider the occupation to be the cause of the terror against Israel,” he said. “Those who believe this will not change their mind because of the attack in Oslo.”
He added, “Can Israel and the Palestinians solve the problems without Hamas? I don’t think so.”
Israeli policy isn’t responsible for Palestinian terrorism, just like Norwegian policy isn’t responsible for Anders Breivik’s deadly attack. Most people would be rightfully offended if anyone suggested otherwise, or pressured Norway to succumb to Breivik’s desired policy changes to stave off future acts of right-wing terror. Yielding to the demands of terrorists only encourages more terrorism.
Even a Jerusalem Post editorial, which offered the slightly milder recommendation that Norway use this attack to reevaluate the way it integrates immigrants, prompted cries of outrage from across the internet. The Post was forced to issue a clarification, assuring readers that it “strongly denounces all acts of violence against innocent civilians.” Will the uber-offended pundits and reporters who carried on about the Post’s editorial weigh in on the Norwegian ambassador’s blatant blame-the-victim remarks? It would be nice, but don’t count on it.