Norwegian Lefties: Our Bigotry is Better

In a piece entitiled "A Blogosphere of Bigots," Jostein Gaarder and Thomas Hylland Eriksen take to the pages of the New York Times to blame "the international right-wing blogosphere" for last week's massacre in Norway.

Understandably, Gaarder and Eriksen hope this black cloud has a silver lining. If, as expected, Norway's left-wing receives "many sympathy votes, the right could be adversely affected." The nightmare in Norway would not be for naught!

In the meantime, Gaarder and Eriksen fret about the "caustic antigovernment rhetoric" that virtually gunned down a congresswoman in Tucson, and the "virulently anti-Islamic" blogs in America that oppose the mosque on ground zero. Moreover, they fear a "global Islamophobic blogosphere" that threatens to engulf the whole world in wanton violence.

As international right wing crusaders rampage, Gaarder and Eriksen believe that Norway's right wing "has swapped anti-Semitism for Islamophobia."

Jostein Gaarder should know a thing or two about Norwegian anti-Semitism:
In August 2006, Jostein Gaarder published an op-ed in one of the major daily newspapers in Norway, Aftenposten. This was written in response to the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict and condemned certain aspects of Israeli politics and Judaism. Gaarder also argued against recognizing the state of Israel in its current form. The article described Judaism as "an archaic national and warlike religion", contrasting it with the Christian idea that "[T]he Kingdom of God is compassion and forgiveness". The op-ed resulted in the Jostein Gaarder controversy. Gaarder disputed allegations of anti-Semitism, and sought to clarify that he didn't mean to offend anyone. He claimed that the piece was written in a state of moral outrage over the death toll in Lebanon.
Apparently, Israeli "baby killers" push Gaardner beyond the limits of his capacity for tolerance:
There are limits to our patience, and there are limits to our tolerance. We do not believe in divine promises as a justification for occupation and apartheid. We have left the Middle Ages behind. We laugh uneasily at those who still believe that the god of flora, fauna and the galaxies has selected one people in particular as his favorite and given it silly stone tablets, burning bushes and a license to kill.
Shame on the New York Times for giving their bigoted friends in Norway a platform for their hate.

Update: Linked at Legal Insurrection. Thanks!

Here's a key excerpt from Jacobson's post on the topic:
A point I made the other day is that speaking out against the violence of the Islamists and Islamic radicals is not the same thing as calling for violence against Muslims or Islamophobic. These authors blur that distinction, and thereby leave themselves no moral ground on which to stand because they then necessarily stand by the side of those whose conduct they otherwise would condemn if committed in the name of Christianity, Judaism, or any other religion.

It this very tendency which leads to situations such as in Malmö, Sweden where leftist politicians find themselves incapable of standing up to anti-Semitic violence committed by Islamists because of a shared hatred of Israel.

Emphasis added


  1. I don't know that anti-Zionism and antisemitism can be fairly regarded as the same thing.

  2. Great, they no longer fear being bigots. That some bigotry is better than other. That's scary. Messamore, to the Muslim world, Semitism and Zionism is the same thing. They believe that all non-believers, especially Jews, are to be exterminated.

  3. @Messamore

    I wouldn't suggest that they are the same thing, even if they often do come from the same place.

    But that's beside the point.

    Gaarder's self-righteous bigotry undermines his attempt to give the right a lecture on moderation and tolerance.


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