Sunday, July 31, 2011

Normal, Well-Adjusted ... With Pet Peeves

Norway has an enviable reputation. As a conciliator. As a country devoted to peace and goodwill. As a country dedicated to expressing its belief in equality among peoples. And as one of the wealthiest per capita countries in Europe. Of its population of five million, some 800 of its citizens are Jewish. And Norway has a subterranean, well-entrenched institutionalized system of anti-Semitism.

A survey done in Norway brought the information that 51% of all students interpret "Jew" as a pejorative; 41% had overheard or used ethnic jokes about Jews, 35% insulting comments, while 5% had been present in a classroom when the Holocaust had been denied. After Jews, the most bullied group was Buddhist at 10%, Muslims just over 5%.

The country has just suffered a dreadful calamity. A completely sane, socially alienated Norwegian has seen fit to demonstrate his anger and disgust with the ruling Labour Party in inviting and absorbing a large Muslim immigrant demographic which he abhorred, and feared would change the cultural traditions of his country.

In his rage he carefully planned out an explanatory ideology and itinerary to be published to explain his position and the extreme actions he carefully planned to the last detail, as he proceeded to act as "a judge, jury and executioner". The atrocity that he served upon his country, in attacking government offices in Oslo, then murdering 68 young political campers on an isolated recreational island has convinced Norwegians that he is a madman.

Which he is not, given his completely rational explanation for his decision-making. He is somewhat like the evil in the banal that Hannah Arendt recognized. A perfectly ordinary individual, socially adapted, with a circle of friends - no loner he - who had adopted an extreme political position.

His feelings about immigrants and Muslims in particular are echoed by many. None of whom would be moved to act as he did.

Look out for the ordinary unassuming, held in thrall by a theory, to go amok. But not without an unhealthy dose of inbred psychopathic psychosis for final leavening.

After the shock of the slaughter had settled in, Norway's Ambassador to Israel had his own declaration of understanding. Equating the Utoeva massacre with inexplicably lunatic hatred, impossible to make sense of other than as a terrorist act of a madman. No one in their right mind could commit such an unspeakable act.

Whereas it is completely explicable why Palestinians would seek to destroy Israelis, however regrettable that decision. For Palestinians have been driven to that act by the desperation they feel over the inhumane occupation of their land. Ambassador Svein Sevie contends the moral incompatibility of each event is evident. Though the end result is similar, the cause is different.

The hatred of Anders Breivik toward his country's ruling Labour Party political system that welcomes immigrants to pervert Norwegian heritage and custom is unforgivably evil. The revenge motivation of the Palestinians toward Israel, on the other hand, is understandable, and therefore forgivable. Which explains why Norway sees it as feasible and necessary to engage with Hamas.

"We Norwegians consider the occupation to be the cause of the terror against Israel. Those who believe this will not change their mind because of the attack in Oslo."
Got that?

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