Monday, August 1, 2011

Part of Norway Reacts to the "Oslo Syndrome" Article

By Barry Rubin

I have just discovered (from a letter written by someone in Norway who likes my article, "The Oslo Syndrome,") that without my knowledge the article had prompted a newspaper there, to remark on it extensively and twist its contents and meaning. The newspaper links to the GLORIA Center and Jerusalem Post sites along with a translation into Norway's language here:

I have received five letters from Norway shocked and angry [along with two that understand my theme and provide additional information reinforcing it.]  that I allegedly wrote that the victims of the terrorist attack in Norway were terrorists or supported violence. That was not in any way my intention nor did I do such a thing. These people misread my point--perhaps because they were expecting that is what I was going to say.

And that's why I wrote the opening three paragraphs to make it crystal clear. Read especially the second paragraph where the issues is stated clearly:

"One of the most sensitive aspects of the very sensitive subject of the murderous terrorist attack in Norway by a right-wing gunman is this irony: The youth political camp he attacked was at the time engaged in what was essentially (though the campers didn’t see it that way, no doubt) a pro-terrorist program.

"The camp, run by Norway’s left-wing party, was lobbying for breaking the blockade of the terrorist Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip and for immediate recognition of a Palestinian state without that entity needing to do anything that would prevent it from being a terrorist base against Israel. They were backing and justifying forces that had committed terrorism against Israelis and killing thousands of people like themselves.

"Even to mention this irony is dangerous since it might be taken to imply that the victims “had it coming.” The victims never deserve to be murdered by terrorists, even any victims who think that other victims of terrorists “had it coming.” This is in no way a justification of that horrendous terrorist act. It’s the exact opposite: a vital but forgotten lesson arising from it that can and should save lives in future."

So does that sound like support for these dreadful murders?

My theme is: These people were victims of a horrendous terrorist attack. But if people cheer and help terrorist groups (even if they don't understand that they are terrorist, perhaps because their media and leaders haven't told them so or even told them the exact opposite) they make terrorism more successful and thus attractive as a strategy. That was the point of the article. I hope nobody will distort my words.

Now if only the media and various political leaders in Norway and elsewhere stop acting as if its justified when Israeli kids are murdered by terrorists we might actually make some progress against all those extremists who are practicing--and rationalizing--terrorism.

Then I discovered that the newspaper claims that I wrote:

"Ungdomsleiren han (Anders Behring Breivik) angrep var i bunn og grunn en terrortreningsleir."

which means in English: "The youth camp (Breivik) attacked was basically a terrorist training camp."

The newspaper thus told its readers what to think about me and my article. Every time I referred to Hamas or other groups as terrorist the newspaper put that in quotation marks, as if that is how it was in the original. Well, didn't that prove my thesis? If Hamas is not a terrorist group then that teaches groups like Hamas--and the next incarnation of Norway's terrorist--that they can be terrorists and escape that stigma to be "respectable" in certain quarters.

And the newspaper helpfully "explained": "Rubin er avslørt som langvarig Israel-lobbyist, som får betalt for å fremme Israels sak." And that means: "Rubin is exposed as a longstanding lobbyist for Israel, who is paid for promoting Israel's cause," There are a number of untruths in that sentence but I think you catch the drift.

This kind of distortion is an attempt to spread hate, perhaps inspiring some future terrorist. But of course I merely (once again) join the ranks of those who are being slandered and their words distorted as "respectable" newspapers make propaganda with no regard to truth.

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