Alarming News

July 26, 2006

What’s the difference between me and you?

A Norwegian newspaper published a cartoon likening Israeli Prime Minster Ehud Olmert to a Nazi. So, of course, Jews rioted in the streets of a dozen cities, made death threats, burned cars, killed people and generally boycotted all the products of Norway.

Or, actually, the “Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles sent a letter last week to Norwegian Ambassador to Washington Knut Vollebaek to express “collective outrage” over the publication of the cartoon” while the the “Norwegian Israel Center against Anti-Semitism, an Oslo-based organization comprising Jews and Christians, has appealed to the government to speak out against hatred of Jews” launching a campaign to get Norwegians to send letters to the minister of justice to make Norway a safer place for Jews.

Posted by Karol at 06:58 AM |
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i cant even comment to this. but who ever said jews were well liked. no one likes us, plenty of jew haters in the USA as well.
i am not suprised. and with half my family in israel right now, some even in haifa it just makes me sad and angry that there is so much hate in the world.

Posted by: cora at July 26, 2006 at 11:14 am

Yes, but Jews don’t hold Ehud Olmert up as the second most important being in their religion.

Posted by: Joe Grossberg at July 26, 2006 at 11:44 am

Cora seems to think that criticizing Israel makes one an anti-semite. If Israel is that core to the Jewish faith, can the goyim of America please get a refund of the billions of dollars we have sent over to Israel over the last fifty years? If the hard earned taxpayer dollars of the overwhelming majority of Americans who accept Jesus of Nazareth as the son of God can not be spent to put up mangers in public places, then they should not be spent on other faiths either. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
So is Israel that central to the faith? While I found the Muslim reaction to the Danish cartoons barbaric, there is a huge difference between those cartoons and these Norwegian ones. Let’s break it down to SAT form:
Olmed is to the Jewish faith as Mohamed is to the Islamic one. True or false ?
If it’s true, I want my money back.

Posted by: Von Bek at July 26, 2006 at 11:49 am

It’s vicious and false, and sadly unsurprising. And, coming out of a state that was a Nazi puppet regime, shows a remarkable tone-deafness to both history and current circumstances.

Posted by: Fallen Sparrow at July 26, 2006 at 11:54 am

A bit harsh, Fallen Sparrow. Norway was invaded by the Nazis in April, 1940 and conqured by those bastards. While the Nazis did set up a puppet regime under Quisling and others, I do not think that the Nygaardsvold government, the true Norwegian regime at the time, can be considered pro-Nazi.

Posted by: Von Bek at July 26, 2006 at 12:20 pm

Joe makes a good point. Olmert is the prime minister and Muhammed is their prophet but the larger point is the way the two sides reacted. Does anyone doubt that fundamental Islams would have reacted similarly had the cartoon been of the Iranian President or the Saudi king?

Posted by: New York Hotlist at July 26, 2006 at 12:28 pm

Von B. – I got a bit fired up and overstated my point. I appreciate the correction and admit that I should have been more temperate (and accurate) in my comment. However, it strikes me as amnesiac that a Norwegian paper would compare Olmert to a Nazi; Norway was invaded, was ruled under a puppet government, and witnessed, as did the rest of the world the atrocities of Nazi Germany.
The attempt to vilify those leaders whom we dislike by comparing them to Nazis (I’ve heard it said of “Bushitler”, people in favor of indoor smoking bans, Olmert, and whoever else one disagrees with) is false because the analogy fails to account for the singularly evil philosophy and actions of the Nazi regime. In this case, it also serves to throw the Nazi genocide in the face of the same people who were its original object. It’s both banal and offensive.

Posted by: Fallen Sparrow at July 26, 2006 at 2:08 pm

It’s not even a very good cartoon. The artist doesn’t seem to have much talent, so of course he tried to exploit both the bloodshed in Israel and Lebanon and the Jewish penchant for being sensitive to how they are portrayed in the media. It seems he was quite successful too. If he wasn’t, would we even be discussing it?

Posted by: ccs178 (Chris) at July 26, 2006 at 3:13 pm

Von Bek – while Olmert might not be a religious symbol for Jews, it does make the cartoon any less anti-Semitic or vile. Many times an attack on Israel is really a covert anti-Semitic slap, not always but frequent. Especially when time and time again Israel is held to higher standards than any other nation on earth. That cortoon is highly offensive and snti-Semitic.I keep seeing you ask for your hard earned tax dollars back from Israel, how about also asking every freakin country the United States has given aid to? It’s not like Israel is the only country really on the side of America’s and has produced incredible things in technological, scientific, agricultural, and medical arenas.

Posted by: Anonymous at July 26, 2006 at 3:18 pm

I’m sorry, but to the islamofacists, every city is a holy city, every iman a holy man, every day a religious holiday, etc. It gets fkn’ old. Everything is a damn affront to them. They want truces on their holidays but wage war on Yon Kippor. Screw them.
And, yeah, I think criticizing Israel is thinly disguised anti-semitism.

Posted by: sam at July 26, 2006 at 4:27 pm

First, please let me know what to call you, amigo. I’m going to call you Josh. Ok, Josh. I disagree with you on a number of points. If the cartoon was attacking the Torah or Abraham or Moses (if there is a better person who would personify the Jewish faith than those patriarchs, I would like to know who), it would be much more anti-Semetic. While I do not disagree with you that often attacks on Israel are anti-Semetic, I have to say that almost every response to attacks on Israel, be they from the left like Peretz of the New Republic or from the right like Podeheretz of Commentary, is to label Israel’s foe as anti-Semetic. I have been called an anti-Semite because I want the traitor Pollard to face the death penalty as is spelled out in the Constiution of this republic. Apparently putting America over Israel is anti-Semetic. If Israel is a faith based nation, then they should be held to a higher standard. For what it is worth, I believe the United States should be held to a higher standard than most nations. This is a tradition of ours called American exceptionalism. City on a hill. Last best hope for mankind. This nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom

Posted by: Von Bek at July 26, 2006 at 4:35 pm

Fallen Sparrow,
Yeah, totally in agreement and thanks for the kind words (I can get pretty anal about getting historical facts right so apologies). We really bring out the Nazi comparison way too much and it really ticks me off to see Bush or Clinton or most political leaders compared to Hitler. I mean we were comparing Quadafi to Hitler some 20 years ago and now we’re buds with the guy to some extent. The worst I ever heard was a conservative political activist compare, of all people, Richard Lugar to Hitler and I was like WTF? Not like we were any better back at the dawn of this Republic (like when John Jay was compared to Judas for the treaty he made with England or, my personal favorite, the election of John McClernand to the House of Represenatives would lead to massive polygamy-that Illinois Dem served a number of terms 150 year ago and I can’t marry many women damn it). Anyways, thanks for the kind response.

Posted by: Von Bek at July 26, 2006 at 5:13 pm

Sam: And, yeah, I think criticizing Israel is thinly disguised anti-semitism.
While I wholeheartedly agree with the thrust of your post, I don’t buy this sentence. It’s perfectly legit to criticize the actions of another government. We do it all the time.
I don’t see why criticizing Israel is different than, say, criticizing Brazil or France. Much of the criticism comes from Jews, after all.

Posted by: Eric at July 26, 2006 at 5:45 pm

Interesting discussion, and good points made. Hey Von Bek! Long time.
Re: criticizing Israel. A lot of Jew haters use that as a veil for their judophobia, no question about that. And what makes criticizing Israel different from crirticizing Brazil is that nobody questions Brazil’s right to exist.
As for the money we give to Israel, most of that money goes not to promoting Judaism, but to fighting our common enemies. I think the islamist threat to America would be much greater, if not for Israeli soldiers and dead civilians who’ve been keeping jihadis busy. I mean, does anybody think that the ME would be a peaceful place if there were no Israel? People use Jew-hatred as an excuse to deny their inadequacies, but if the islamists didn’t have that excuse, they’d find somebody else to blame, and I bet it would be the US. So, I don’t think this is foreign aid, let alone promotion of Judaism. I think it is self-defense, and I’d rather pay with my tax dollars than American lives.
As for the cartoons, people were outraged not because their religeous sensibilities were offended, but because again, Israel’s right to defend itself – and therefore, to exist – is under attack.

Posted by: Ivan Lenin at July 26, 2006 at 6:25 pm

1) Agreed with Eric above. I would hope no one would accuse me of anti-Semitism if I said something like, “You know, rather than attacking the Hezbollah line head on, the IDF should flank fron the northeast. I mean, duhhh!”
2) Context, people. Context. If the cartoon compared Olmert to Pol Pot, then yeah, things would be overblown. But when the prime minister of Israel is compared to a regime that murdered 6 million Jews…well that’s just wrong.
3) I think this safely proves that the Jews don’t control everything. :)

Posted by: Shawn at July 26, 2006 at 9:32 pm

Comparing Ehud Olmert to a Nazi is not exactly the same as the Mohammed cartoons. What’s offensive about portraying the Israeli leader as a Nazi is that the Jews were singled out by the Nazis for extermination. It’s not so much a religious thing. But that’s not the main point. If someone were to publish a cartoon of Moses or King David, or G-d, Jews would be offended and angry. But they (as a group) would not go around rioting, vandalizing property or killing people.
So I don’t see what this has to do with how much foreign aid we give to Israel or other countries, or how Israel is supposedly biting the hand that feed her (America).
And from what I’ve heard, the aid given to Israel is in the form of loan guarantees, where Israel purchases American weapons (a boon to the American companies) And I’ve read that they always repay on time.
As for Christians not being allowed to put up mangers in public spaces (what is a manger anyway?) I still don’t see what that has to do with Israel, as there are plenty of religion leftists in this country who are not Jewish and who are not connected to Israel. (Granted Jewish liberals are quite the nut jobs.)

Posted by: Zelda at July 26, 2006 at 9:41 pm

The manger is the central point of most nativity sets Zelda as it was where Jospeh and Mary let the baby Jesus sleep.
Hey, Ivan. Hope you are doing well amigo. I have to check out your blog.

Posted by: Von Bek at July 27, 2006 at 9:01 am

So is a manger like a crib?

Posted by: Zelda at July 27, 2006 at 7:34 pm

One word for Norwegian chutspah: ‘QUISLING’

Posted by: yahuti at July 28, 2006 at 3:57 pm

Isn’t Judophobia the hatred of Judo? Why do people make up a word when one already exists; it’s most discombobulating!
I think those who support Israel use the anti-semetic card at the critics all the time. THAT’S gotten old.
It’s interesting that the UN security council are all, bar France (omg) engaged in some dodgy conflict (legally speaking) or other: Chechnya, Tibet, Iraq. So I can’t see them jumping up and down about the legality or otherwise of Israel’s actions.

Posted by: bryan at July 29, 2006 at 5:45 am
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