Political Summer Camps and the Tragedy of Ignorance
Political Summer Camps and the Tragedy of Ignorance

As anyone with a television, an internet connection, or Arutz Sheva as their home page (Psst! That's you! and if not, it should be) is no doubt aware, Norway's island of Utoeya was the site of a two-pronged terror attack (a bombing and subsequent shooting spree that together killed over 70 people), allegedly perpetrated by Norwegian right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik.

Breivik, as it turns out, is adamantly opposed to his country's liberal multiculturalism and tolerance of Muslims, and militantly pro-Israel, presumably on account of Israel's dedication to fighting terrorism (though if he truly understood Israel's tolerant policy towards minority groups, including its Muslim population, he might be a little less gung-ho in his "Zionism"). 

Far be it from me to sound ungrateful, but let me make one thing abundantly clear: Friends like this we don't need; and frankly, we can't afford them!

As it turns out, the "youth camp" he attacked was what reporters are describing as a "political summer camp" run by Norway's ruling Labour Party. And apparently, I'm not the only one who finds the phrase "political summer camp" just a little unnerving. Glenn Beck got himself into hot water (with Jewish advocacy groups, no less) for comparing the Norwegian youth camp to the Hitler Youth of the 1930's and 40's.

This author wouldn't go quite that far, but it isn't difficult to imagine that these youth were being indoctrinated with hatred, if not of Jews in general, then at least of Israel in particular. Have a look at the photo featured with this article (click opeds on menu) - the one with the sign that appears to be hilariously misspelled until you realize it's in Norwegian. That's the political youth camp, enjoying a visit by Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store.

Evidently, the main activity at the Utoeya Island Meeting was a series of exercises whose theme was "Break the Israel Blockade." Wholesome fun for all ages! the picture's caption could be "The Norwegian Labour Party's Political Youth Camp - the most fun an anti-Semitic teen can have on summer vacation!"

As much as it pains me to say it, up to a certain point, I think I can understand the frustration of living in a society so unthinkingly open-minded that it seems its brains are falling out. I understand the anger that comes from seeing youth being inculcated with anti-Semitic values through entertainment, and the anger that, frankly, ought to be directed at the parents sick enough to subject their children to such garbage.

Where my understanding fails me is when that anger leads someone to make a bomb, pick up a gun, and start picking off those youth, one at a time. Somewhere between drafting a reactionary political manifesto and posing for photos dressed like a Hollywood action hero, and going on an actual shooting spree, there exists the line between a frustrated, anti-social (or so one might infer from the fact that he took the time to pose for a self-portrait wearing a wetsuit and holding an assault rifle) ultra-conservative, and a straight-up psychopath.

The one thing that left me and my colleagues scratching our heads was this: If Breivik was indeed anti-Islamist and pro-Israel, and had some sense of rationality, what could he have hoped to accomplish by this most heinous act of terrorism? It's not as if, on that little island, he could have hoped to dismantle the entire national government of Norway.

And had it not occurred to him that by turning himself into a living caricature of what Muslim apologists and the "multiculti traitors" he despised think of as a typical right-wing extremist, that in the long term, this can only serve to boost their morale, and convince them of the righteousness of their respective causes? 

"But at least," you might be thinking "this doesn't really reflect on Israel. After all, regardless of his views, this whacko is clearly not a Jew, not Israeli, and has no recognizable ties (other than a misguided personal affinity) to the Jewish State." It's not like anyone could blame this on Israel. ...Right?

Well, if you've been following the Breivik story prior to picking up this article, you probably know that some people already are blaming Israel. 

One "journalist" (fittingly, a dyed-in-the-wool 9/11 truther) has seized upon the idea that the Norway terror attacks, like those of September 11, 2001, were the result of a Mossad-led conspiracy, designed to stir-up anti-Islamic sentiment (I guess he's assuming that the attacks, if executed successfully, were supposed to implicate terrorists of the non-Jewish Semitic variety, and not a blond, blue-eyed, Aryan bermensch).

Suffice it to say that news sources like Al Jazeera, well known for pretending that conspiracy theories and news are one and the same, were more than happy to seize upon this authoritative piece of information from such a respected political analyst and... I'm sorry, if I had continued in that vein for any longer a cerebral hemorrhage would no doubt have resulted. Am I exaggerating? Yes. But only a little bit.

If anyone reading this is, G-d forbid, sufficiently sick in the head to sympathize with Breivik and his methods, please do the rest of us, including Israel, a favor: Stick with the angry blogging. It should be painfully obvious, but opening fire on a crowd of teenagers is probably going to harm your cause, not help it. And we Jews don't need another Blood Libel to deal with.