Thursday, July 20, 2006


The Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned the publication of a political cartoon in the Oslo daily Dagbladet that associated Israel’s involvement in Gaza to Nazi brutality. The cartoon, by noted Norwegian cartoonist Finn Graff, depicts Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as an armed Nazi concentration camp guard standing on a balcony overlooking scores of Palestinian victimsa reference to a harrowing scene in the film Schindler’s List.

In a letter to Kurt Vollebaek, Norway’s Ambassador to the United States, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center, acknowledged Norway’s right to free speech, but called on their government to publicly denounce this “antisemitic attack that manages simultaneously to denigrate the victims of the Nazi Holocaust and incite hatred against Israel and her supporters in your country.”

Rabbi Cooper also protested the timing of the cartoon’s publication citing that “hundreds of Israelis have been killed and injured by unprovoked cross-border attacks by terrorist organizations.”

Cooper expressed hope that in light of this controversy, the Norwegian government will support UN Security Council Resolution 1559 which would end the “Hezbollah threat that has wreaked such suffering on innocents on both sides of the Israeli/Lebanese border.”...


Sadly, Scandinavia appears to have taken the lead in Europe in terms of its anti-Israel attitude.

Amazing! Yet in Norway, it's illegal to have cartoons condemning Islamic terrorism.

Nannette, you're wrong. It's NOT illegal to have cartoons condemning Islamic terrorism in Norway. In Norway there is freedom of speech!

Personally I reckon this is a very good caricature of Mr Olmert. Israel is bombing everything that moves in Libanon, including UN troops and the Red Cross. I don't support Hezbollah at all, but there is no justification for Israel's actions against innocent people, which are totally out of proportions.

They're actually not bombing everything that moves in Lebanon, nor are they intentionally target civilians. The other side does that. They're proud of it.

Comparing Olmert to a Nazi shows how poor either the education about the history of Naziism, or current events, or both is in Norway.

Actually, I think the cartoon is quite fitting and I don't think it is "anti-semetic" at all to express opposition to Israel's policies and actions. What is Israel anyway -- untouchable just because it is a majority Jewish state? Does that mean that Israel should be allowed to do anything? How Israel treats the Palestinians and, now, the Lebanese is inhumane. If Israel wants world-wide acceptance, then it must abide by international standards. Just as Saddam Hussein is being tried for his crimes against humanity, so should Israel be tried for its slaughter of Palestinians and Lebanese.

Israel treats its enemies in line with the laws of war and the practical manner that other nations treat their enemies under similar circumstances...better in fact.

It is precisely because Olmert does not, by any stretch, behave in a Nazi-like manner, yet there seems to be a certain class of Europeans who relish turning Jews, and specifically Jews, into Nazis -- never mind the emptiness of comparison -- that this cartoon is anti-Semitic. It is particularly sickening to use the Holocaust as a bludgeon for bashing Jews who are trying to defend themselves in the face of yet another genocidal enemy.

Watch the made in Israel movie "Zero Degrees of Seperation". No one or nations actions should be exempt from examination. Critical or otherwise.

In response specifically to Solomon and generally to the situation, I don't think it's out of line to illustrate that Israel behaves in a manner inconsistent with modern western standards.

First of all, it is an outright lie to say that Israel treats its enemies in line with any sort of laws. Ehud Olmert, for instance, during the Gaza campaign said he wanted nobody to sleep at night in Gaza. Furthermore, they clearly target civilian areas like Beirut and civilian villages with things like cluster bombs and white phosphorus munitions, which because of their indiscriminate nature are considered violations of international law in those circumstances. Furthermore, Israel today ignored 10 pleas from UN observers to stop shelling them, the situation ended with the death of 4 UN observers. Furthermore, sure Hezbollah targets civilians, they're not very savory either, but they don't have the support of most of the west, as opposed to Israel. Finally, if you look at civilian casualty numbers, Israel kills on average 10-15 times as many civilians as any form of terrorist kills Israeli citizens. You can't argue that with all of their advanced weapons systems (like American made guided weapons) they "accidentally" kill all these civilians. There's no excuse for Israels irresponsibility with the way it wages war. Why the hell do you need to bomb Beirut if the problem is missiles being launched from somewhere else entirely?

Solomon, pull your head out of your ass and grow up: Israel is a monster and needs to be stopped. This has NOTHING to do with their religion, only their complete lack of regard for human life and their inhuman lack of compassion for all living non-Israelis.

"I don't support Hezbollah at all, but there is no justification for Israel's actions against innocent people, which are totally out of proportions." No Justification, emphasis added

To substantiate your assertion vis-a-vis Hezbollah, please point to so much as a blog comment you've directed against Hezbollah in much the same manner you're directing this against Israel. (E.g., to a statement made against Hezbollah vis-a-vis the rocket attacks and/or kidnappings prior to Israel's counter-attack.) Israel pulled back its forces, both in the case of Lebanon and Gaza, and rocket attacks was its "reward," from day one.

So, anyone at all, substantiate your anti-Hezbollah sentiments. Provide a link or some similar proof.

Too, for one backgrounder only (since the Nazi theme has arisen), concerning the broader, strategic, eliminationist interests of Hezbollah and Hamas and their Syrian and Iranian patronage, see Islamic Antisemitism And Its Nazi Roots.

"It's NOT illegal to have cartoons condemning Islamic terrorism in Norway. In Norway there is freedom of speech!" No Justification

A comparison of de facto vs. de jure and official sentiments can often be interesting: Norway Apologizes over Muhammad Cartoons

"... I don't think it's out of line to illustrate that Israel behaves in a manner inconsistent with modern western standards." Brad

This assertion is made without so much as a caveat vis-a-vis Hamas's and Hezbollah's premeditated offensives against civilian populations?

A number of lengthy discussions/debates can be found concerning the idea of "proportionality," here's one.

Yes, in Norway there is freedom of speech. Is it legal to yell "Fire" in a crowded theatre? I think not. My point is that freedom speech also has limits.

Yes, the horrible Jews kill and maim many more civilians than Hezzbolah. Why is that? Could it be because Hezzbollah fires their rockets from inside Beirut and other civilian populated areas? Any retaliation is bound to result in civilian casualties.

On the other hand, the good and kind Hezzbolah only fire their rockets at Israeli towns and cities. What is the result of that? Possibly, civilian casualties ON PURPOSE. Never mind that Israel has established their military bases away from populated areas and the Hezzbollah rarely, if ever, shoot at them.

Israel is acting completly out of order It is acting like a "rouge state" an "axis of evil" Which needs a "regime change"
If any other country acted like Israel they would be completly condemed and attacked by other countries to defend Lenbonnon
Yes what Hezbollah is doing is wrong but Israel is a state and therefore it should be above a terrorist group
How is bombing a Redcross ambulance or UN post is attacking "terrorist"
Israel has precessions weapons that are really accurate within a few metres What Israel is doing is making the suitation a lot worse and driving lots of people into the hands of Hezbollah and terrorist groups like them
The Jews are mad they think that they are the "God chosen race" which is racist and
I am not chosen because I am not Jewsih

Political candy: Claudia Rosette on the U.N. Chew slowly, enjoy; extraordinarily apt as well. Leads with:

"As Israel fights to defend itself against the Iranian-and-Syrian-backed terrorists of Hezbollah, are we really seeing a reckless, damaging and — yes — disproportionate response?

"You bet. But not from Israel. It's coming from the U.N."

h/t American Future

Dear Martin,
Israel is a state, indeed , and therefore above a terrorist group? meaning a terrorist group should be allowed to do anything they feel like doing, and a state cannot response to this? for the reason they should be above their level ? they should wait and be slaughtered because their enemies are of an inferior mindset ? B S !
please signor. use y'r brain. greetings Boris.

So, Israel is wrong again. Yep, they were wrong to give land away; they were wrong to negotiate with the Jew hating Muslims; they are wrong by listening to the UN and of all things to be considered, they should have made a 50 mile wide stretch of South Lebanon into a full fledged river between Israel and Lebanon.

Destroying bridges etc. to prevent easy exit for civilians while systematically leveling entire suburbs of civilian population as witnessed by the U.N, or indeed U.N. observation posts with precision-weapon aerial bombardment is just as evil and indiscriminate as sniping prisoners in a prison camp. The cartoon sadly is too much to the point, to the shame of the Israelis.

This opinion by a native from a Nordic European country whose U.N. observer was killed by Israel.

Bridges etc. are legitimate strategic and tactical targets. "leveling entire suburbs of civilian population" is a lie and has not happened. The civilan toll would be much higher than it is if it were the case and the fact is that Hizballah uses civilian areas as cover. UN posts have also been used as cover for Hizballah to fire from, and UN observers have been fired upon and wounded by Hizballah fighters (and treated in Israeli hospitals, btw) -- no comment on that I suppose. They should have been drawn out long before in any case. Nor is any of this remotely akin to "Nazi like" activity, and I'm sorry so many Nordic folk see it that way, much to their demonstrated ignorance, moral vacuity and shame.

solomon u have all the answers dont u? well honestly, what goes around comes aroun, just know that. Theres a reason the holcaust happened, the jews built up that hate, and by the looks of it, they havent learnt.

Yup, I do, most of em anyway, and you should listen to what one of your own generals said about the UN situation.

This cartoon is truly offensive and anti-Semitic.

So is this comment by who cares:

Theres a reason the holcaust happened, the jews built up that hate, and by the looks of it, they havent learnt.

The people who haven't learned the lesson are not the Jews. It is those who keep turning a blind eye to the 60 years of murderous attacks against Israeli citizens by terrorists. It is the people who try their best to dehumanize Jews with cartoons that are anti-Semitic.

The ones who have not learned the lesson are those who defend terrorists groups like Hamas and Hizbollah.

Israel's response has been very "proportionate". Hizbollah, like the cowards they are, hide behind women and children. They launch their katyushas against Israeli civilian targets while within 6 feet of UN posts.

The targets of Hizbollah are not military objectives but civilian targets. Their rockets are indescriminate and one hit a kindergarten in Israel. A kindergarten!

If you would like at a map of Beirut and just see the pinpoints that Israel has targeted, you would see that Beirut is not being leveled. The areas targeted are Hizbollah strongholds. Every war has civilian casualities. It's regrettable and tragic. But I don't see too many of you who are demonizing Israel decrying the 500,000 Israeli refugees and the Israeli civilians that have been killed.

It's just easier to blame it on the Jews than to acknowledge that Israel is fighting unrelenting terror from Hamas, Islamic Jihad, PLO, Al Quds, Fatah, Hizbollah and the other myriad terrorist groups.

You would think that after the Shoah, the world's lust for Jewish blood would have waned. Hitler demonized Jews before he began slaughtering them.

The cartoon in this post is doing the same thing.

Hezbollah has initiated a war, not a debate, and they've done so in a manner which repeatedly and even strategically has made use of civilian and U.N. cover. Too, in the missile or rocket attacks, they have purposely targeted civilian centers, not military posts. Further still, it's a war which is part and parcel of a broader, eliminationist strategy. All this constitutes rather prominent and well known facts - undisputed facts, excepting in the minds of some imaginative and extraordinarily naive trans-nationalist and leftist ideologues, in addition to the jihadists, the militant Arab and/or Persian Muslims themselves.

And yet, reflected in the more obtuse commentary above, nothing more than a caveat is devoted to any of this and those few caveats are in turn used as launching points (now there's an apt phrase) - in order to take a cheap shot at Israel, for possessing the temerity to defend itself against purposely targeted attacks on civilian populations.

Too, the studied avoidance is more than a little noticeable, am still waiting for a response to #9 above, not to mention commentary such as this, this, this or this. At some point such levels or degrees of studied avoidance become something far more malicious, far more malignant than mere avoidance, it becomes an active complicity with and apologetic for Hezbollah and the broader eliminationist strategy, certainly so for all, or virtually all, intents and purposes.

Jews should be humble if they want to survive. The world is tired of the lies.

Some points regarding a particularly fatuous posting above:

1. "Israel has precessions weapons that are really accurate within a few metres."

I suppose that they meant "precision weapons," which is, of course, nonsense. No nation has weapons that are accurate within a few meters. Where did you get that sort of nonsense?

2. "What Israel is doing is making the sitation a lot worse and driving lots of people into the hands of Hezbollah and terrorist groups like them."

That is valid. Israel is losing a lot of support. The problem is that it's a lose-lose situation for Israel. If they do nothing, Hizbollah can claim victory. If they do too much, Hizbollah can claim a propaganda victory, at the expense of the suffering of the Lebanese.

I think Israel did go too far, but I also think that there are no easy answers for Israel. Probably it should have not set destroying Hizbollah as its goal, since that is impossible, anyway. Why set an impossible goal? Especially since a repeat of 1982 would be horrible! Hizbollah admitted that it didn't expect much of a response from Israel when it kidnapped those two soldiers. Israel should have responded for a few days and thereby taught Hizbollah a lesson: not that they would be destroyed, but that they would pay a price.

3. "The Jews are mad they think that they are the "God chosen race" which is racist andI am not chosen because I am not Jewish."

This is sheer idiocy, sheer bigotry. The concept of "chosen people" was a religious one and has nothing to do with racial superiority. That's a dishonest use of the term. All monotheistic religions think they are the "dernier cri" as far as God is concerned. As long as you're going to take terms out of context, what do you think of the Latin Amreicans calling themselves "la raza cosmica"? This is simply a propaganda point stretching Jewish tradition beyond the point where it really goes.

4. This not about anything said in that silly post, but I have heard that the New York Times reported that the UN post did indeed try to warn the Israelis that there were UN personnel in the area, and that they needed time to escape. I don't know if it was 10 times, but it was several times. That's what a friend of mine read in the New York Times (and please, please don't answer by just saying that the NY Times is biased, so we cannot believe it).

Also, the Israelis are refusing an investigation, which makes them look bad. I know that it would be hard to find unbiased investigators, but Israel should not refuse an investigation full stop. There could be one by relatively neutral countries that are not unfriendly to Israel (India, for example, who UN personnel are reportedly friendly with Israelis on the border). Any Israeli investigation will lack credibility, so would any US investigation.

This same friend of mine came up with the point that the US should not refuse categorically to talk with the Syrians and Iranians. Just giving them some attention, some role might well be a balm to their self-respect, and encourage them to tone down their "destroy Israel" rhetoric if they could be made to feel like an important partner in defusing this conflict. I understand that the Iranian leader (I'm not even going to try to spell his name!) is pushing the nuclear and destroy-Israel lines to bolster his sagging domestic popularity.

Anyway, we're not going to eradicate Hizbollah, so the best thing is to address their sponsors.

"Jews should be humble ..."

This post isn't merely fatuous, it's scary! How can there be such people out there? Does this guy where a white hood?

It appears from reading these comments that one side is debating logically and realistically with facts while the other is attempting to browbeat with emotion, hyperbole, and cliche'-- Can you tell which is which? It's pretty obvious, isn't it? The smiley-face masks always start to slip and show the ugly features beneath when the Jews are mentioned, don't they? Never Again.

"Syme: It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. You wouldn't have seen the [Newspeak] Dictionary 10th edition, would you Smith? It's that thick. [illustrates thickness with fingers] The 11th Edition will be that [narrows fingers] thick. Winston Smith: So, The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect? Syme: The secret is to move from translation, to direct thought, to automatic response. No need for self-discipline. Language coming from here [the larynx], not from here [the brain]" -1984 (film)


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