Over the course of the last years Norway has developed an international reputation as a staunch supporter of several organizations despised by the international community. This is a result of adhering to the supposition that the best way to counteract terrorism is to enter into a ”dialog”. However there is every reason to question our mild-mannered conversations and generous monetary gifts to Islamists that promote religious ideologies that, among other goals, aim to eradicate minorities in the Middle East.
According to the September 19th edition of the International Herald Tribune, the former president of Egypt, the secular-moderate Hosni Mubarak warned that the alternative to an authoritarian system would release radical religious forces and result in chaos. He was correct, at least from the minorities´ point of view. The Arab spring has become a complete Arab winter. The September 24th issue of Time Magazine reports that the region is far more unstable since Islamists have assumed power in nation after nation. Conditions for human rights have worsened, and democracy fairs poorly as well.
The belief that the introduction of democracy would automatically solve ethnic, religious and social challenges has in reality legitimized support of intolerant extremists whose goal is to use democracy itself to abolish democracy. Unfortunately such disposable democracies flourish in Africa, where the first free election is often the last. Even so Norway presumed that Islamists would become secular when they assumed power.
Already one month after Tahrir Square Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr-Støre expressed a definitive analysis in the New York Times. According to Gahr-Støre, it was essential to actively counter any perception that the rebellion could promote Islamist views, views that might lead to a new Iran 1979 or provide fruitful soil for Al-Qaida. The article stands as a symbol of Norwegian naiveté and as a momento mori over politicians more concerned with ideological control over the description of reality than dealing with actual reality.
What we see now is a significant increase in attacks on minorities throughout the Middle East. Hundreds of thousands of Coptic Christians have fled Egypt since 2011. In addition, Druzes, Sufists, Assyrian Christians living in Iraq for two thousand years, Kurds, Turkmens, homosexuals, — in Iraq alone nearly a thousand homosexuals have been killed since 2004, according to the September 13th edition of The Observer. It is worth noting that homosexuality was not criminalized under Saddam Hussein Huge numbers of Jews, another minority that has lived in the Middle East for several thousand years, have emigrated from Arabian countries. Today it is estimated that there are only 18000 Jews left in these countries, and absolutely no Jews in Libya, according to Standwithus.
And finally, what of the Christians in Syria? I recently returned from a trip to the Middle East where I gave several lectures, had an audience with the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, and had discussions with several diplomats, ambassadors and leading professors. I also visited the Golan Heights and spoke with one of the top leaders of Christians in Syria. This conversation provided an unpleasant confirmation. Tens of thousands of Christians flee in the wake of Islamic rebel armies supported by the West. These rebels assume control of cities and villages proclaiming “Christians are not welcome in the new Syria.” Rebels go from door to door killing people because they are Christian. Inhabitants of the region are preparing for yet more carnage. Many millions of people in Syria belong to minorities. Should the present regime fail, where the President himself is Alawite, an Islamic minority, the danger for genocide is imminent.
A quick glance at, for example, the bylaws of Hamas reveals a litany of non-liberal, anti-democratic and minority-hostile ways of thinking: outright genocide of the Jewish minority is encouraged and civilians are urged to commit suicide for the sake of Allah. Sharia law must be introduced in all countries that Muslims have conquered, and every suggestion from the international community for peaceful solutions should be rejected. Secular solutions are not acceptable and it is the duty of all other religions to bend to this decree without opposition.
Thus Norway’s present official policy acts as an ideal cooperative partner for Hamas. Little or no protest is expressed from our flank. Hamas and other groups hostile towards humanity have successfully obtained political supporters in the West while they persecute minorities at home. We attempt to influence extremists from within, but we are silent about known facts: innocent people are being killed. And our silence acts as consent.
Norway’s foreign policy is a checkbook diplomacy. Over the last years Norway´s uncritical financial contributions have amounted to billions. We were the first Western country to invite Hamas in from the cold and we have consistently refused to follow USA´s, the EU’s and the UN’s condemnations of this organization. Delegates from Hamas regularly visit Oslo to partake in festive dinners and receive “democratic training”. All for an organization that has definitively stated that they will never agree to peaceful solutions from the secular international community. Støre has scurried from Islamic group to Islamic group, relishing secret conversations with Hamas’ leader, Khaled Meshall. These conversations Støre later denied on TV2. The number of friends Norway´s money has managed to buy is impressive indeed.
We are in bed with the enemy, and proud of it. Here hatred of Jews and anti-Israelism stroll hand in hand while studies show ever increasing anti-Semitism. The use of photographs in the last conflict between Israel and Gaza illustrate unilaterally biased media coverage. Nearly all the photographs show wounded in Gaza. There are few photographs from Israel, of people killed and wounded, of heavily damaged houses. Thus far this year Hamas has fired over 2200 rockets into Israel. We see no photographs of the many “spies” that Hamas summarily executes without trial. Influencing Western journalists and photographers is, according to the November 19th edition of The Wall Street Journal, a conscious public relations strategy on behalf of Hamas, accomplished by the placement of military infra-structure below and in proximity to the civil population. Hamas is internationally recognized for using the civil population as living shields by locating militant jihadists and weapon stores in densely populated areas. Of course Israel is then perceived as “evil”, and this is exactly what Hamas and others want to achieve – the demonization of the liberal democracy of Israel, the only country in the Middle East that offers Christians and Muslims equal rights and religious freedom, and the only country where religious minorities are increasing, according to the Jewish Virtual Library.In nations like Norway biased media coverage leads to hate, as exemplified by the recent statement of a Hamar AUF politician. He wished that Hitler could return and continue the Holocaust.
Norway´s international reputation as a trustworthy and fair-minded peace negotiator in the Middle East has unfortunately lapsed into history. The Oslo Accords of 1993 represented one of the few really great events that established Norway on the international map. During the Oslo Accords Norway played a leading role in guiding the negotiations towards a two-state solution. The agreement states specifically that the two parties together will agree on borders and the division of land areas. No other country is referred to in the agreement, not even USA. But only a few years later the Oslo Accords were impatiently tossed aside and promises and commitments abandoned. Palestinians were encouraged to sidestep the agreement and, based on the boundaries that existed prior to 1967, apply directly to the UN for observer status. An interesting fact is that Norway was selected to negotiate the Oslo Accords in place of a more probable actor – Sweden. However, Israel reacted to Sweden´s pro-Palestinian bias by denying Sweden a place at the table before the negotiations even began.
Today Norway has forfeited any role as a credible peace negotiator by judging Israel and Islamists according to two different scales. We have silently accepted that Islamists persecute Christians, Jews and homosexuals. This is a disturbing fact.
First published in Aftenposten, Norway’s largest newspaper, 20.12.2012
After facing criticism from the Labor Government, this was my response in Aftenposten:
Torgeir Larsen, Norwegian Labor Junior Minister admits in Norway’s largest newspaper, Aftenposten 28.12. to Norwegian authorities having closed their eyes to the realities of the Middle East. Too often they thought they were in the service of stability, but later found out that was not the case.None the less, this acknowledgement of Norwegian naiveté must lead to tangible changes in the foreign policy in order to be of real value.
The Junior Minister asked me what I meant by my leading article on December the 20th (In bed with the enemy) where I stated that Norwegian check book diplomacy de facto is supportive of terrorist organizations with significant intolerance directed at Christians, Jews, gays or other minorities who are not considered “sufficiently Islamistic.” Let’s take a look at the statistics: Norway is one of the smallest countries in the world and one of the largest contributors to the Palestinian Authority (PA) and others with annual donations of over 700 Million NOK. Especially since the current Labor Leftwing Government took office in 2005, the donations have exploded. What are these sums spent on?
Recently, remuneration for suicide bombers was tripled. The Hamas terrorist who killed 30 Israelis in 2002, by now receives 20 000 NOK a month, according to Times of Israel September the 9th. Those who have carried out the worst attacks against innocent civilians, get the highest pay.Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center2005 figures show the Palestinians having conducted 25770 terrorist attacks, 147 suicide attacks leading to 1100 dead Israelis and 7500 wounded between 2000 and 2005 alone. Fatah conducted 214 acts of terrorism in 2003-2004 alone, according to 2005 Terrorism Review.
Gross corruption charges have for a long time been directed at the PLO; which already by 1993 was the richest terrorist organization of the world, according to British National Criminal Intelligence Service, having assets of ten billion dollars and an annual income of approximately two billion dollars. Daily Telegraph reported in 1999 that the PLO had secretly invested over 50 billion dollars around the world. Still, Norway has continuously broken bread with these.
Norwegian taxpayer’s money has amongst other things financed a number of visits from The Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Fatah and not to forget the PLO, coming to Oslo. Not to mention the intense activities of Norway’s previous Foreign Minister, Jonas Gahr-Store, as he has been travelling extensively between different Islamistic groups in the Middle East, having secret meetings already in 2007 with Hamas’ leader, Khaled Meshaal, which shocked the West. Having publicly denied these meetings, the Norwegian TV station, TV2 forced him to admit to lying about this in 2010, an incident which is referred to in Aftenposten.
PA Minister, Faisal Husseini said to Al-Safir in 2001 that «Our eyes will continue to aspire to the strategic goal, namely, to Palestine from the river [Jordan] to the sea. Whatever we get now cannot make us forget this supreme truth». And Hamas’ message from the internet: «We are a nation that drinks blood, and we know that no blood is better than the Jews’.” In this perspective it is interesting to note that the pluralist liberal democracy of Israel is the only in the Middle East where gays are protected legally, having annual gay pride parades, religious liberty and where Christian minorities are growing and the nation enjoys free press and an active public debate. But these we do not support in Norway.
As late as 1996, Yasser Arafat stated in Stockholm, three years after his Nobel award, that the Palestinian plan still was to get annihilate Israel, establish a pure Palestinian state and make the Middle East so horrible that the Jewish minority would not stand to live there anymore, according to Arutz-7.Arafat said this three years after having received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo in 1993.The PLO’s decision on genocide against the Jews had still not been removed from its charter. As we all know, one of the reasons for Oslo II 1995 was that Arafat was to denounce terrorism and remove from its charter the quest for Jewish genocide.
The current Norwegian Labor government has been far too gullibly influenced by Palestinian propaganda. Hoping to become an internationally renowned peace mediator and content seeing the effects of our checkbook diplomacy, we have closed our eyes to what we actually finance. No wonder our role as a peace mediator in the Middle East seems to be over.