When Islamist extremism and its progressive sister appear to be on different sides of the same coin.
And how does it relate to us?
We have become accustomed to hearing about phenomena of extreme persecution under the auspices of the rule of law, mainly from the countries of the Middle East. Afghanistan, which forbids women to walk alone in the street, Iran, where there is a "morality police" that beats women for not wearing the hijab properly, sometimes to the point of death. Then there is Saudi Arabia where women are required to show permission from their husbands to get married, work, or open a bank account, and so on.
But one of the stranger occurrences that took place this past week in the world and did not receive any attention in Israel, is the Norwegian storm surrounding the local filmmaker Tonya Gjevjon. Gjevjon is an avowed lesbian, and has an open criminal investigation against her for spreading serious hate speech. This is an act for which the maximum penalty in Norway is three years in prison. The "serious incitement" spread by the filmmaker, however, is a post she published on Facebook in which she dared to write that "it is impossible for a man to become a lesbian in the same way that it is impossible for a man to get pregnant. Men are men regardless of their sexual fetishes."
On the face of it, the explanation for the opening of the criminal investigation against the creator stems from an amendment to the country's penal code in 2020, which stated that "gender identity and gender expression" are protected categories against hate speech. Which on the face of it sounds reasonable, if the opening of a police investigation is not added to it for expressing an opinion that does not contain any call for violence.
Norway is indeed considered one of the most progressive countries in Europe, but between that and the establishment of a Gestapo that persecutes and silences those who express an opinion, there should be a clear line..
The question arises - does all this even concern us, the citizens of Israel who are protected from the storm of progressive insanity? So, the answer is - unequivocally, yes.
In the last decade, Norway transferred close to NIS 80 million to Israeli organizations, all of them on the spectrum between the left and the extreme anti-Zionist left. 50 million shekels were transferred directly through official government entities and an additional 30 million shekels through the "Norwegian Refugee Council" which, although it is also a Norwegian political entity, is simultaneously budgeted by the European Union and the United Kingdom.
Among the Israeli organizations that are funded by the liberal dictatorship, one can find the anti-Zionist organization B'Tselem, the Center for the Protection of the Individual and the Civil Rights Association that defend terrorists and their families in courts, the Yesh Din organization that works to prosecute Israel at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the delegitimization organization Breaking the Silence and more.
There is no doubt that the State of Israel must develop clear legislation to stop the funds going to local organizations from enemy countries and those with which Israel has no official relations. Certainly, it must stop funds from countries where the human rights situation is terrible and there is no reason for them to promote their extreme agendas within us.
But there is another developing category.
When we look at the gradual radicalization currently taking place in Norway, the gradual establishment of a progressive dictatorship that persecutes those with a different opinion, it would be worthwhile at some stage to consider how to seal the loopholes directed in our direction as well.
Matan Peleg is CEO of the Im Tirtzu movement, author of the book 'A State for Sale’