An Open Letter to Norway's Prime Minister

Norway has never asked any other country but Israel, the world's only Jewish state, to refrain from defending itself against attacks. This is discrimination.

Erez Uriely,

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צילום: ערוץ 7
Dear Prime Minister Bondevik,

The Norwegian Israel Centre Against Anti-Semitism (NIS) wishes to express its deep disappointment over your criticism of Israel during your visit there during the 12th to 14th of February, 2005. We presume that you are familiar with the clear connection between what is today termed "reasonable criticism of Israel" and the marked increase of hatred for the Jews in the world, even in Norway. In that context we would like to point out that approximately half of the Jewish youths of Norway have chosen to move out of Norway during your tenure as prime minister (Aftenposten 7.7.2004). The reason for this is the increasing hatred of the Jews, which we are seeking your help to oppose.

Nevertheless, we hope that you appreciated your invitation to Israel's capital by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, even though for your part, you limited his visit to Norway to the provincial city of Molde and kept him away from Oslo. On the other hand, you invited Mahmoud Abbas and Ahmed Qureia, representatives of the terrorist organisation PLO, to Oslo, to a meeting with the king and to the parliament.

According to Aftenposten (14.2.2005), you have "asked Israel not to respond if the Palestinian extremists break the ceasefire," and "asked Israel to respect Shimon Peres' past promises to the PLO." The articles published in Norway and in Israel about your visit and statements also give the impression that you have different standards for criticising Israel as opposed to the Arabs. That is reflected also in your earlier criticism of Israel:

1. Norway has never asked any other country but Israel, the world's only Jewish state, to refrain from defending itself against attacks. This is discrimination.

2. Norway, and you, have not come up with corresponding demands on those who attack, viz., the terrorist organisations Hamas, Fatah and the PLO. Why hasn't the prime minister asked these organisations to refrain from reacting when Israel liquidated two of its leaders -men who organised serial murders of Jews? We also missed your criticism of the Arab countries and Iran over the terrorist organisations they have established for the total destruction of the Jewish state. This is discrimination.

3. We are shocked when Norway, and you, consistently react strongly to the least breach of human rights in Israel - but only when it benefits Israel's enemies. Norway remained silent when the PLO and Syria carried out a massacre of the Christians in Lebanon (1974-82), when Iraq carried out a massacre of the Kurds in northern Iraq, and when Syria massacred its own civilians in Hama in 1982. You, and Norway, were so concerned about Israel's affairs, but at the same time, kept silent about the genocide in Rwanda in 1994; and the silence continues when, these days, Muslims are carrying out a genocide in Sudan. As of now, two million Christians have been killed, with the situation in Darfour only a drop in the ocean. This is discrimination.

4. We notice the difference between your criticism of Israel and of the others. We note that you, and Norway, are not equally concerned about human rights in other places, and do not let such facts as oppressions, murder and torture stop you from investing billions in Iran, Libya and other dictatorships. During the Nazi period, Norway invested in companies that contributed to the Holocaust. Even today, Norwegian companies invest heavily, with the government's full support and blessing, in countries that are trying to "complete Hitler's unfinished job" on the Jews in Israel. This is thought-provoking.

5. We find Norway's criticism of "Israel's occupation and breach of human rights" completely out of proportion, considering the fact that Norway turns a blind eye to the repression and occupation of Tibet by China, with which Norway has very extensive economic cooperation. Neither has Norway ever criticised the Arab occupation of the whole Middle East and North Africa, an area which is 650 times larger than the whole of Israel. The Arabs' repression of the Kurds, the Christians, the Copts, the Berbers, the Jews and others is kept silent about in Norway. This is discrimination.

6. We note that Norway sends warplanes and soldiers to Afghanistan to fight terrorism, although it has not been affected by it, instead of using the Norwegian peace mediators and peace strategists, which you demand for Israel. Here also your demands are different of the Jews in Israel, who are hard hit by terrorism. This is discrimination.

7. Your criticism of Prime Minister Sharon stands in sharp contrast to your lack of criticism of Chairman Abbas, who denies the Holocaust and compares the Jews to the Nazis, and who for several decades has been a central figure in organising terrorism against the Jews. This is discrimination.

8. NIS would like to remind you that during your tenure in the opposition, your party, the Christian Democratic Party (KrF), and you yourself, had criticised the Labour Party's government, which you had rightly stated that in supporting the PLO, "the government was supporting a corrupt regime with a disregard for human rights." (3.6.1996) Why was this criticism reversed into support for the PLO when you became prime minister? The human rights situation has not changed for the better. Arafat, Abbas and the other PLO leaders continued to delude and repress the people.

9. We are shocked that you allow Norwegian money to continually finance a regime that educates small children to hate and kill Jews. We are deeply disappointed that you do not attach any firm demands for a total halt to terrorism and recognition of Israel's right to exist to Norway's technical and economic aid to the PLO. This is discrimination.

10. Your criticism of Israel is quite strong and clear. You single it and its leader out by name; whereas, you only criticise in general terms and without the same clarity those who call for Jihad and murder of the Jews in Israel - such as the PLO, Arafat, Abbas and the other Arab leaders. This is discrimination.

We therefore request that you and your government stop operating with two sets of moral standards - one applicable to Israel and the other for Norway and other countries.