OneJerusalem.com

a different side of Israel

Tag: Oslo

Peace Studies Professor Losses His Mind

Norwegian Sociologist and University of Oslo lecturer Johan Galtung has shocked and left the Jewish community aghast when he made remarks that carried a tone of anti-Semitism.

In one of his lectures, he claimed that a conspiracy exists between the Mossad and the Norway massacre that took place last year. He also went on to say that Jewish involvement was covered up by the U.S. media, which is primarily run by Jews and has a history of pro-Israeli bias.

Peace Research InstitutionSome of his other allegations suggested that anti-Semitism in World War II Germany was due to the influential positions that Jews held in German Society. Among Galtung’s recommended reading list is “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, a book that has been regarded as one of the world’s most anti-Semitic text.

Professor Galtung is 82-years-old and is the founder of the conflict resolution and peace studies discipline. He is also the founder of the Peace Research Institution in Oslo. He is a well-respected professor in the field of sociological research, which makes his remarks all the more dumfounding.

Galtung made repeated anti-Semitic remarks both during his lectures at the University of Oslo and in periodicals published in the Norwegian periodical.

Galtung also went on to say that the Norway killer, Anders Behring Breivik, had connections to the freemasons, an organization that Galtung believes is rooted in Jewish origins. He also believes it may be the case that it was the Mossad who gave Breivik the orders to go on his rampage.

He went on to say that the U.S. press has an unproportionate number of Jews who are running the show behind the scenes. He argued that this presents stories in the media that are unfairly leaned in the favor of Jewish and Israeli causes.

Despite his past reputation as a well-respected figure, his remarks could destroy his entire credibility. If this man truly believes in the words coming out of his own mouth, then he is no longer deserving of the reverence he earned over the years.

Fear and Loathing in Oslo

Oslo, NorwayJews in Oslo were taken aback over the weekend when the leader of the local Jewish Community, Anne Sander criticized haredi Judaism, the Chabad movement, the settlements and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. The remarks came in an interview with the Dagbladet newspaper, on the milieu of the situation between Jews and Muslims in Norway.

Only 1,100 Jews live in Norway today, most of them in Oslo. They live alongside more than 70,000 Muslims. Anti-Semitic incidents from the past few years include harsh statements made by Norwegian comedian Otto Jespersen, a plan by local Muslims to murder the Israeli ambassador and gun shots fired at an Oslo synagogue.

The journalist who interviewed Sander has in the past compared former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon with Nazi leader Hermann Göring. The interview began with a poetic description of “the Israeli war machine”.
Sander said:

“Both sides are right. It’s something that we must learn to live with, accept the fact that we disagree…There is a radical polarization in the Jewish world today…You have the liberals, and on the other side you have the ultra-Orthodox – which look as if they may become dominant. We don’t like it. What’s happening is very dangerous. This is Judaism from the inside like in all other religions. Extremism exists everywhere, among us as well.”

She also shed a negative light on the Chabad-Lubavitch movement in her country, which seeks to spread kabbalistic and Chassidic Judaism, as well as the practice of basic mitzvoth, to non-practicing Jews around the world:

“The ultra-Orthodox movement, Chabad-Lubavitch, has been in Oslo for four years. It represents a more distant side in religion than we are able to accept.”

She said that the movement’s values “are completely different than the average. It’s a movement which mixes religion and politics and has an anti-democratic structure.”

Sander mentioned that the movement supports a Greater Israel:

“from Egypt in the West to ancient Babylon in the east, between today’s Iraq and Iran. We are busy with democracy, with volunteering and with being socially responsible, and this conduct is completely destructive towards the environment, and as I said – very dangerous.”

Sander explained that people in Norway were wrong when comparing the country’s Jews to Israelis on all matters:

“Naturally, we have a lot of cooperation on cultural exchanges and similar things, but I don’t engage in politics. That’s the embassy’s responsibility.”

On the topic of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, she said:

“I think he has bad advisors, he received false information, he knew only half of the story, he responds emotionally and he talks with his local audience. No one can hit people in the head and call them anti-Semites just because they criticize what the State of Israel does, even if anti-Semitism is hidden undoubtedly in some of the criticism against Israel.”

She said that Jews benefit from West Bank settlements, like Palestinians benefit from suicide bombings:

“When it comes to settlements, I just can’t understand it. It’s completely incomprehensible to me, completely incomprehensible. It’s supposed to be in Israel’s favor. This is not the situation, like suicide bombings for the Palestinian side.”

Rabbi Shaul Wilhelm, who manages the Chabad House in Oslo, told Ynet that Sander’s remarks put the city’s Jews in danger:

“She is simply putting the security of Jews living here in risk. Such statements are a type of incitement. We have been feeling very uncomfortable since the article was published, and so far no one has taken these remarks back…”

The remark about Chabad, said Wilhelm:

“is not true and it’s particularly dangerous when it is said by a central Jewish public figure. Comparing Jews to radical Islam in a country with some 100,000 Muslims is terrible, especially when there is not a lot of sympathy for Jews and Israel in the media.”

Another Jewish resident of Oslo claimed an objection as well:

“There is no problem with Chabad. They are working for the sake of the community like in any other place. I view this as an internal and dangerous political dispute.”

Eric Argaman, a 30-year-old Israeli who has studied in Norway and lives in Oslo, said:

“It’s a product of internal hatred. What’s Chabad got to do with it? It’s an apolitical body. We are working here to prevent anti-Semitism and a person comes along and destroys it. It’s not easy being a Jew here as it is. She did injustice to everyone…Some guys working in security at the Jewish center have resigned. In Israel she wouldn’t have stayed in office. It’s enough that people are looking for reasons to hate the Jews here.”

Bibi Postpones Likud Elections

At the request of Israeli Prime Minister and Likud party chairman, Binyamin Netanyahu, the Likud Central Committee postponed its own election date for another twenty months. This goes against the Likud constitution which mandates that the next committee elections be held on February 10th of this year.

It is clear what the thinking was behind the move. Netanyahu knows that if elections are held now, the committee will come out much farther to the right and perhaps angry about the settlement freeze.

Unfortunately for Bibi, the attempt to buy time has not gone unchallenged. Several central committee members have turned to the Tel Aviv district court to overrule the move. The matter will be brought up on January 25th.

Netanyahu held a meeting with Zvi Cohen, Chairman of the Likud’s Elections Committee, discussing various schemes to exclude the right wing, religious, Moshe Feiglin, who finished a strong third, with 12.5% of the vote, in the race for party leadership.

Feiglin was convicted of sedition in 1997 for his non-violent civil disobedience activities in the Zu Artzeinu (this is our land) movement. His position played a critical role in expressing popular opposition to the Oslo “peace process.” Feiglin and Shmuel Sackett, co-founder of the group, were sentenced to nine months imprisonment and one year on probation. They each served six months of their terms, respectively.

After his election as party chairman, Netanyahu promised to fight “criminal and negative” elements in the Likud, but it was unclear if he was referring to Feiglin, specifically.
Bibi was quoted as saying:

“There will not be room in our party for corruption and extremist lawbreaking,” Netanyahu told the Likud faction. “Our party will work to restore its image to the good old days of Menachem Begin…The path of integrity and clean hands must be returned.”

He went on to defend his opinion and define the Likud as a moderate party:

“We in the Likud made a peace agreement with Egypt, we supported the peace agreement with Jordan without reservation, and I as prime minister conducted successful negotiations with the Palestinians, signing a number of incremental agreements.”

Shimon Peres Becomes Israel’s 9th President

Katzav, Gila & Peres
In a ceremony fraught with pageantry and fanfare, Former Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres was sworn in July 15 as the 9th President of the State of Israel. In a moving Knesset ceremony, Peres took the oath of what is usually a largely ceremonial position similar to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth. In his acceptance speech afterwards, however, Peres (who usually loves to be in the center of governmental goings-on) indicated that his term of office will be anything but ceremonial, with the new president volunteering to go on various peace missions on the government’s behalf.

Despite his advanced age (83) Peres seems to be in excellent health, and loves to travel abroad and hobnob with foreign government leaders and other dignitaries. This means that he may become the county’s first globe trotting President and will undoubtedly not wait even for the paint on the door of his new office in Beit Hanasi to dry before he leaves on his first international assignment; most likely to either the USA or the UK – both favorite destinations for a man who has literally been in nearly every major world capital, including Olso Norway, where he jointly accepted the Nobel Peace Price in 1994, along with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat.

After nearly 50 years of governmental and political activities, Peres has finally found a position that most suits his wide and diversified career in public life. In a way it’s a shame he didn’t have this opportunity seven years ago when he barely lost out to Likud political party rival Moshe Katsav, who has now left the presidency in disgrace following his admittance to being involved in a number of incidents of sexual misconduct. Katsav is also being accused of at least two counts of rape, which were dropped by Israel State Prosecutor Manny Mazuz in an effort to keep an already scandalous incident from becoming an embarrassing public trial.

Shimon Peres’ ascension to the presidency will hopefully do much to erase the pall that has been cast on this office by both Katsav and Katsav’s predecessor Ezer Weizman, who wasn’t ashamed to speak his mind; even if his remarks were frequently taken out of context by the press. Peres brings an air of dignity to an office where dignity and protocol are two of the most important aspects. With Peres in this position, not only will he be meeting foreign dignitaries when they arrive in Israel, he himself will be going to meet them on their home ground; where Peres feels as much at home as he does in Jerusalem.

Despite his wife, Sonia being in ill health, Peres will undoubtedly volunteer to be his country’s official peace envoy for as long as he is able to do so. And judging from the current state of affairs that Israel finds itself in, peace is something that Israel sorely needs. If Shimon can make a positive contribution towards this end, his final position in public life will be more than fitting for a man who has dedicated a great deal of his life to the cause of peace.

Moshik has Katsav asking his wife, Gila, how is Peres going to handle the job without his wife…

© 2020 OneJerusalem.com

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑